Sailing: Cayard joins Conner: Skipper switches boats for San Diego regatta

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

PAUL CAYARD, the skipper of Il Moro di Venezia, Italy's challenger for the 1992 America's Cup, is joining Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes syndicate for the world championship warm-up regatta in San Diego at the end of October, writes Stuart Alexander.

Cayard had briefly joined another challenge syndicate, Jacques Dewailly's Defi France, as co-skipper, and he will draw on that squad for his crew in the world championship of match-race sailing in La Rochelle at the end of this month. But he left this summer after less than six months because of contract difficulties.

'I am just joining Dennis for the world championship, and will decide after that whether to go on through the America's Cup defence,' Cayard, a Californian, said.

'I hope it will be a good solution for me. I don't know if I will be doing any driving and I have to work out if that really matters to me. The important thing is to stay on the inside of the game, rather than spectating from outside.'

As the driving force chosen by the Italian businessman Raul Gardini, Cayard emerged as an America's Cup force in 1992. By joining Conner's syndicate, he can be be seen as a candidate for heir-apparent to take over the skipper's role if Conner decides, at 52, to concentrate more on syndicate management after the 1995 Cup.