Stars & Stripes Wins Without Conner
Stars & Stripes defeated the all-women America 3yacht Saturday and sailed into second place in the America’s Cup defender trials.
Sailing without its team leader, Dennis Conner, Stars & Stripes easily won by 1 minute 51 seconds in light winds.
With only one day of defender and challenger racing to go in the first round, Stars & Stripes has two victories to one for America 3. Both syndicates trail Young America, which has five victories.
Young America will race Stars & Stripes today.
Paul Cayard sailed Stars & Stripes because Conner, a four-time America’s Cup champion, had a speaking engagement.
Racing began in a six-knot breeze with Cayard forcing the women out of the starting area. Stars & Stripes took a seven-second edge at the starting line and never trailed.
On the challenger course, oneAustralia, skippered by John Bertrand, came from nearly 2 minutes behind on the first leg to defeat France 2 by 1:24.
Nippon Challenge, skippered by Makoto Namba, outclassed Sydney 95 by 4:09; and NZL-39, skippered by Chris Dickson, beat Rioja de Espana by 7:03.