French hopes of challenging for the America's Cup this year ended off Newport, Rhode Island, on Wednesday (28 August) when Australia's aluminium boat Southern Cross scored another convincing victory over the wooden-hulled France, and won the right to compete for the cup.
GV France at quayside, members of crew and onlookers (3 shots)
SV France being towed out
SV Southern Cross and crew members (2 shots)
SV Southern Cross towed out (2 shots)
LV Three masted sailing ship
GV Both yachts racing
AERIAL V Southern Cross
AERIAL V France
LV Southern Cross
GV Southern Cross towed back into harbour
LV France being towed back
SCU Members of crew waving
SV Victorious crew drinking toast
Initials BB/2025 TH/JB/BB/2059
SPORT: YACHT RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: French hopes of challenging for the America's Cup this year ended off Newport, Rhode Island, on Wednesday (28 August) when Australia's aluminium boat Southern Cross scored another convincing victory over the wooden-hulled France, and won the right to compete for the cup.
Wednesday's victory gave Southern Cross four straight wins over France in the best-of-seven trials. The pattern was much the same as the three previous races. This time France won the start by two seconds, but Southern Cross had pulled away midway up the first leg, and then went on to increase her lead.
In the end, Southern Cross won by 4 minutes 22 seconds. Immediately after the race, Bruno Bich, manager of the French racing syndicate, offered the services of the yacht France to help prepare Southern Cross for her America's Cup challenge.
Ironically, in the trials to decide the United States defender for the series, the wooden-hulled Intrepid has just scored its second straight victory over the aluminium Courageous.
SYNOPSIS: Final preparations were being made to the yacht France on Wednesday for its make-or-break race in the America's Cup elimination trials. The first three races in the best-of-seven series had been convincingly won by the Australian challenger, Southern Cross. One more defeat would dash French hopes of challenging for the Cup.
Around Southern Cross, the Australians were exuding confidence. Their aluminium-hulled yacht was not only well on the way to a winning margin over the wooden yacht France, but has also given indications that she could be faster than any yacht the Americans can call upon to defend the cup. For the first time in hundred and twenty-three years, the United States hold on the Cup could be finally broken.
Wednesday's race followed the pattern of previous contest between these two boats. France snatched a two-second lead at the start, but half way down the first leg of the six-leg course she had been overhauled by Southern Cross. The Australian boat, with its better performance on the windward legs, then pulled steadily away. At the line, she was ahead by four minutes, twenty-two seconds -- and French hopes of challenging for the Cup were finally and completely dashed.
But even as the victorious Southern Cross was being towed back to Newport, Bruno Bich, head of the French racing syndicate, made a sporting offer. He proposed that the yacht France should be used in practice to help prepare Southern Cross for the Cup series.
On current form the United States defender of the Cup could be the wooden-hulled Intrepid, which ironically has just scored two straight victories over the aluminium Courageous -- a reversal of the form shown in the challengers' elimination series. Nevertheless, Southern Cross looks to be faster over comparable distance than Intrepid. The Australians could have plenty to celebrate this September.