Stars & Stripes damaged, Swiss withdraw, Kiwis 'open' house

Sunday 5 December

This has been a weekend to remember, with flying dentists, crying Swiss and spying French.

It all began with the dramatic rupture at the back of the Stars and Stripes boat, catapulting the 17th man, Dennis Conner’s dentist, three feet in to the air. Apart from a cut hand, he was fortunately unhurt, although the stern of the boat is in need of a very large carbon crown.

Meanwhile, back in port, the Swiss skipper, Marc Pajot, announced his tearful decision to withdraw the dismasted ‘be hAPpy’ from the Louis Vuitton Cup. On recovering from the disappointment, the crew of FAST 2000 (nicknamed SLOW 1999) tucked in to a raucous barbecue on the base, topped with litres of Movenpick ice cream, a sponsor that no team should be with out.

A few doors down, Team New Zealand hosted a very carefully orchestrated open day, with anything of any interest hidden away, apart from Sir Peter Blake who signed autographs for six hours. The queue of people filing peacefully through the base was interrupted only by the sporadic ejection of ill-disguised French crew members, desperately in need of some basic ‘Resistance’ spying lessons.