Cayard remains at the helm

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The Independent Online
SAILING Losing an early frame in the marathon that is the America's Cup matters little, and the wind patterns off San Diego are such that a fast ship in a dead patch can be made to look like flotsam by a lesser boat in better wind.

So the slow start made by Dennis Conner in the 1995 Citizen Cup, which will decide the US defender, is looking no more than that as Paul Cayard takes increasing responsibility for driving Stars & Stripes. Yesterday he showed again how strong he couldbe on a start-line, controlling the all-important right-hand side of the course and lifting away from Kevin Mahaney's Pact '95.

By the end of the first leg Stripes was over two minutes ahead, and, with a bigger, more stable gennaker, that had stretched to three by the bottom. Cayard then only had to sit quietly in control.

The eagerly awaited encounter between France's new boat and oneAustralia was postponed. There were signs that a good breeze may fill in from the sea, but when it failed to settle on the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger course, racing for the day was abandoned and the matches put back until today.

OneAustralia have kept their first-round boat, keeping the latest design for the next round robin, but navigator Andrew Cape is replaced by Ian Burns while Iain Murray, of 1987 Kookaburra fame, joins the afterguard later this week.

A member of Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes shore support crew collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack on Sunday while working at the team's compound. Donn Wuest, 47, was in the boat workshop when he collapsed and was found two minutes later by a fellow crew member. He was taken to hospital, where he never regained consciousness.

CITIZEN CUP Second round robin (San Diego): America3 bt Pact '95, 14sec.

LOUIS VUITTON CUP Second round robin (San Diego): Nippon Challenge bt Bayona-Valencia, 1min 48sec; Team New Zealand bt Sydney '95, 1:56; oneAustralia bt Tag Heuer (NZ), 1:07.