In Stronger Winds, Stars & Stripes Runs Third, Improving Its Chances to Advance

Special to The Times

Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes, which was designed to win the America's Cup in the strong winds off Fremantle, Australia, finally found similar breezes in the Mediterranean Sea Friday to finish third in the third race of the 12-meter sailing World Championships.

It was Stars & Stripes' best finish and moved the only American entry into fourth place in the standings. The top four boats after six fleet races will advance to the match-racing semifinals starting July 4.

After a week of light air, the wind blew at 22 knots Friday, carrying Kookaburra II and skipper Peter Gilmour to their second consecutive victory, 47 seconds ahead of New Zealand's KZ-7 and 2:17 ahead of Conner.

The winds were so strong that Italy's Sfida Italiana, Australia's Steak'n Kidney and Sweden's Entertainer 12 sustained damage and Britain's White Horse was unable to finish.

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