Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, November 11, 1999

Y A C H T _ R A C I N G

Conner ends Italian
boat’s win streak

Associated Press


AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Italy's Prada sustained its first loss and the Japanese team's mast snapped today as New Zealand's unpredictable weather continued to play havoc with the challenger series for sailing's America's Cup.

Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes became the first team to defeat the Italians when a rain storm over Auckland's Hauraki Gulf brought with it a big wind shift and gave the Americans the advantage.

The same squall and gusting winds may have caused the damage to the Nippon boat, which had appeared to be headed for a win over San Francisco's AmericaOne.

Prada still leads the points table but second-place AmericaOne is now within one victory of the front-runner.

In other races today, America True defeated Le Defi Francais by 59 seconds; Young Australia tore a sail and pulled out of its race against Hawaii's Abracadabra, and Switzerland's Fast 2000 scored a win by sailing the course alone after Young America forfeited because of Tuesday's mishap in which the yacht split in two.

Eleven syndicates are competing in the four-month challenger series to decide who will take on America's Cup defender New Zealand next year.

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