Sailing: Conner defers to Cayard

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The Independent Online
The speculation had been around for some time, but the decision by Dennis Conner to allow Paul Cayard to steer for most of the close first race against Kevin Mahaney's machine of the moment, Pact '95, and to handle the whole race against America3

tomorrow, when Conner will be out of town, is also probably the first sign of Conner skippering an America's Cup campaign for the last time.

"I thought it was in the best interests of Stars & Stripes that Paul sailed the boat while I was there. It was a chance to have a different look at the forest and that never did anyone any harm in life. I did Paul's job," Conner said.

It was the best race of the Citizen Cup series so far, with the margin in favour of Pact at the end just 18 seconds, after negotiating a breeze that was light and shifty at the start but built steadily to over 10 knots.

Pact remains unbeaten, as do Team New Zealand after proving a little too quick for John Bertrand's oneAustralia in the only race completed on the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger course.

The matches between Chris Dickson's Tag Heuer and Syd Fischer's Sydney '95, and between Nippon Challenge and Valencia-Bayona, were rescheduled for yesterday.