Four from five keep French up to speed; SAILING

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The Independent Online
A FOURTH win in five starts gave the French America's Cup team certain victory in their home Grand Prix of the Adecco World Championship for Maxi One designs here yesterday.

A decision by the race committee to dispense with a sixth race in the light 6-8 knot breeze off Lorient had the effect also of ensuring the French could not be beaten. But Bertrand Pace once again made no mistake, leading the race back into the harbour from start to finish.

But it still leaves the French in third place overall after five regattas with Ludde Ingvall in the lead, followed by New Zealand's Ross Field.

Britain hosts the final two events as the fleet arrives tomorrow night for five days of racing in Skandia Life Cowes Week. The eight will be moored in line along the green and four inshore races in the Solent may be complemented on Tuesday with a complete, 50-mile circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight.

The finale is the Fastnet Race, which starts next Saturday (7 August), with the overall winner of the seven regattas picking up a prize of pounds 150,000. If it is Ingvall, he says he will share it with his crew.

The fleet then returns to Port Camargue in the south of France for the winter but Pierre Fehlmann, who pioneered the building of the boats and persuaded Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli to back them financially, said yesterday he hoped a second Adecco series would be run next year. A decision, he said, is due at the end of August.

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