Admiral's Cup line-up takes shape

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The pieces of Britain's Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup team were almost in place last night as long-time campaigner and chairman of selectors Robin Aisher came to an agreement with German big-boat owner Hans-Otto Schumann to sail his Rubin for Britain, writes Stuart Alexander from Sete, France.

At the same time, the financial arrangements were being made for the German 40-footer Astro to complete the trio, together with the Mumm 36 Group 4 already selected.

Crews and skippers have yet to be announced, but thoughts of John Cutler leaving the German 40 Anemos to join Astro have proved unfounded. Andy Beadsworth and Adrian Stead are possible collaborators.

After a near five-year break from match racing, in at the deep end today goes Dawn Riley at the Coupe Brut de Faberge here. Riley, sailing with an all-emale crew for her adopted home of New Zealand, will be aiming for a top-eight place, as will her America's Cup colleague, JJ Isler, bronze medallist in the women's 470 at Barcelona, who skippers a crew of four men which includes two 1988 silver medallists, Bob Billingham and Morgan Larson.

In Riley's group is the third woman skipper, France's Christian Briand, a gold medallist at last year's inaugural World Championship regatta.