France, the yacht that carries French hopes for wresting the Americas Cup from the undefeated United States, arrived in Rhode Island on Thursday (25 July) for the forthcoming elimination trials.
GV PAN Local yacht owners sound horns as sign of welcome
GV Gretel II raising sail, alongside Southern Cross (3 shots)
SV PAN FROM Southern Cross TO Gretel II
GV Yacht France towed into harbour
GV People on quay
CU Stern of France
CU PAN FROM Onlookers TO son of Bruno Bich
GV Mast from France lowered onto quayside
SV Gretel II undergoing sea trials (2 shots)
GV Southern Cross undergoing sea trials (2 shots)
Initials BB/1852 TH/AW/BB/1907
SPORT - YACHTING
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Background: France, the yacht that carries French hopes for wresting the Americas Cup from the undefeated United States, arrived in Rhode Island on Thursday (25 July) for the forthcoming elimination trials.
In the trials, the wooden-hulled France will be sailing against the sleek Australian challenger Southern Cross -- in which the latest aluminium-hulled ???achiting technology has been lavished to the tune of well over GBP 1 million sterling.
The winner of these trials will meet the United States defender. On current form this looks like being Intrepid, which successfully defended the Cup in 1967 and 1970. Four American yachts, including the brand new Courageous -- launched only a couple of months ago -- have been contesting trials to decide the defender.
In the French-Australian eliminator, the pundits are making gloomy predictions for the France. This is the yacht that lost against another Australian challenges, Gretel II, in 1970. Later, she was sunk in a towing accident in France. Baron Bich, owner of the France, has had his yacht extensively refurbished, with new sails and a new mast.
But changes look slim against the multi-million dollar challenge of Australian millionaire Alan Bond. He not only owns the aluminium-hulled Southern Cross, but he's also bought Gretel II and shipped her out to Rhode Island to act as pacemaker for the new yacht.