New Zealand poised

SAILING
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The Independent Online
After racing had been cancelled at midday because there was too much wind on Tuesday, and then cancelled again three hours later because there was too little, the America's Cup timetable was facing another lurch backwards yesterday as officials anxiously waited to see if a forecast 30-knot wind appeared.

The probable challengers, Team New Zealand, poised at 4-1 in a best of nine final to lift the Louis Vuitton Trophy, were anxious to get racing after losing a valuable three days out of the 18 they hoped to have to test and modify their yacht ahead of the cup, which begins on 6 May.

And it would push the defender trials back into the middle of next week, with all three contenders on three points and six races to go. So, the Kiwis should still enjoy a considerable advantage in preparation, being the only syndicate with a genuine two-boat programme, but they are not helped by not knowing which boat they have to race and so preparing their own to counter the individual characteristics of their opponent.

In the BOC singlehanded round the world challenge, the Frenchman Christophe Augin was well on course for a second consecutive win as his 60ft Sceta Calberson passed through the 1,800 miles to the finish mark 227 miles ahead of his nearest rival, the American David Scully.

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