Facing one of the strongest challenges ever, Bill
Koch won over the best in the sailing world by combining
teamwork, talent, technology and ability to form a
winning team with AMERICA3. Many of the experts predicted
that the Italian challenger, IL MORO DI VENEZIA would
beat AMERICA3 handily. Bill Koch felt otherwise and
proved it by defeating IL MORO by a 4-1 margin. The
one race that IL MORO won was by three seconds, the
closest race in America's Cup history.
Bill Koch maintains that winning the America's Cup
is 60 percent boat technology and 40 percent human
skills. "Sailing is an art, but boat speed is
a science," he maintains.
His race philosophy is summed up by the following:
"One person can't win the race for you. But one
person's mistake can cause you to lose. That's why
I de-emphasized the individual and talent and concentrated
on attitude when selecting the crew. Ordinary people
doing things extraordinarily well as a team will beat
- every time- a bunch of superstars with their accompanying
The team abandoned this concept during the trial
series and nearly got eliminated by Dennis Conner.
After getting out to 3-0 lead, AMERICA3 lost the next
three races and ended up tied 4-4. Bill Koch reminded
the crew of its promise to sacrifice personal goals
for the good of the boat. AMERICA3 swept the next
three races and carried this momentum into the Cup
Her extra speed was the result of a program of ongoing
refinements that continued right into the Cup finals.
Tank testing, wind tunnel testing, and the development
of a new sail material called Cubenfiber are the reasons
why AMERICA3's victory is seen as a triumph of American