Storm Postpones America's Cup Defender Races

From Associated Press

It took 144 years for women to get an equal footing with men in the America's Cup, only to have a severe winter storm delay their competitive sailing debut by at least one day.

The opening race of the Citizen Cup defender series, between America 3's historic women's team and Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes, was postponed Thursday after the latest in a series of storms to hit Southern California kicked up swells of 12 to 15 feet on the Pacific Ocean.

The race originally was pushed back an hour, then postponed to Jan. 21, making it the ninth and final race of the first round robin.

America 3is scheduled to sail against Stars & Stripes today and Saturday, and against PACT 95 on Sunday. The syndicates will race six times apiece in the first round robin.

The race committee was concerned that the high seas were not safe for the fragile 75-foot International America's Cup Class sloops, which can sustain serious damage in high seas or high winds.

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