Competitive And Close - Yachting Teams Fight It Out
Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes syndicate fought a close match to finish first during the opening round of the Louis Vuitton Cup on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.
Stars and Stripes led the French challenger Le Defi BTT by almost 80 seconds early in the race. But in an excellent display of competitiveness the French pulled Conner's yacht back to a two metre lead as they crossed the finish line.
The French took advantage of a wind shift to close to gap to just nine seconds at the finish.
In the other races on the opening morning, Young America beat America True by 37sec, Nippon beat Abracadabra 2000 by 38sec, AmericaOne was home 1min 09sec ahead of Bravo Espana, while the heavily favourited Prada boat stood out as a challenger favourite by beating FAST 2000 by 4min 20sec.