Half a dozen of the world's most expensive sailing craft are now based in Newport, Rhode Island in the United States, preparing and training for the America Cup.
Half a dozen of the world's most expensive sailing craft are now based in Newport, Rhode Island in the United States, preparing and training for the America Cup. The Cup is the most coveted prize in international offshore racing, but in 21 challenges it has never left the U.S.
The Americans have entered three boats in the observation trials this year. The race-offs will last until August and will decide which yacht will defend the Cup in September against either Australia's Southern Cross or the French entry, France I.
Courageous, skippered by Bob Bavier (pronounced Baveer), the first American 12-metre yacht to be built of aluminum, is slightly favoured at the moment to win the trials. Last weekend Bavier and his crew of 13 were out off Rhode Island testing the sails and "tuning up" for the second set of observation trials.
The sails on Courageous were recut after the first trials in June and the trim and fit required meticulous checking. courageous has also been fitted with a new mast, in the hope that this will give her the edge over intrepid, her main rival to defend the Cup.
In between the formal trials the American contenders have been sparring off the coast, testing their craft and making minor adjustments. Valiant, the third American hopeful, sailed against Courageous at the weekend. Valiant is now being skippered by Ted Turner and his crew from the fourth American hopeful, Mariner, which has now officially withdrawn from the trials.
In the second set of trials, Courageous won two races from Valiant on Sunday (14 July), boosting its record in the trials to 3-1. Intrepid which did not race on Sunday Is 1-1 and Valiant is 0-2.
SYNOPSIS: Off Newport, Rhode Island, in the United States, half a dozen of the most expensive sailing craft in the world have been preparing and training for the America Cup.
The American yacht Courageous skipped by Bob Bavier has emerged as favourite to defend the Cup which has never left America despite twenty-one challenges. At the weekend, her crew of thirteen were out "tuning up" in preparation for the second series of trials.
The series will decide which of three American entries will have the honour of defending the cup against either the Australian entry, 'Southern Cross' or the French yacht 'France I' in September. Courageous did well in the June trials. Since then with recut sails and a new mast, her trim and fit have required meticulous checking.
Courageous is the first American twelve-metre yacht to be built of aluminum. Her main challenger to defend the cup is Intrepid which successfully defended in the nineteen-sixty-seven and nineteen-seventy challenge races.
The second set of trials for the American hopefuls began on Saturday. The following day Courageous won two races from Valiant, boosting her record in the trials to 3-1. Intrepid is 1-1 and Valiant, the third American yacht is nil-two.