Sailing: Fischer's fifth America's Cup campaign

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The Independent Online
Equalling Sir Thomas Lipton's record, Australia's Syd Fischer yesterday confirmed he will mount his fifth campaign for the America's Cup in 2000.

Fischer, who will also captain Australia's Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup team at Cowes in July, first challenged in 1983 at Newport, Rhode Island, the year Alan Bond defeated the Americans for the first time. He then challenged again with the fast Steak 'N Kidney at the Australian defender trials before the 1993 Cup defence in Perth. He made his third and fourth attempts at San Diego in 1992 and 1995.

Australia first challenged for the America's Cup in 1962, with Gretel, representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. It won in 1983 with Australia II, representing Royal Perth Yacht Club.

Fischer's latest effort departs from past association with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Against what are expected to be at least 10 other challengers when the lists close in Auckland today, he will represent the Crusing Yacht Club of Australia in New Zealand.

A man who is always careful with budgets, Fischer has yet to announce whether he will modify the yacht in which he challenged in San Diego in 1995, or build a new one.

Discussions over a second British syndicate have been abandoned, leaving the Chris Witty-managed group, representing the Royal Dorset Yacht Club, a clear run. His earlier plans to announce further financial support for an up to pounds 15m effort have been delayed until mid-June.

On the South coast, perfect, flat water conditions in the Western Solent gave Denmark's Morten Henriksen, winner last week of the Algarve Cup, a perfect 4-0 start in the Hoya Lymington Cup.

Britain's only Grade One match racing Grand Prix has a field of 16 in two groups, the top four from each going into the quarter-finals tomorrow.

Britain's Chris Law, one of those looking at a second British America's Cup syndicate, but keen to express support for just one, scored 3-1 as the results went with form.

Murray Jones (New Zealand) and Bertrand Pace (France) despite a shunt from Stuart Childerley, joined Law in Group A, while in Group B Magnus Holmberg (Sweden), Thierry Peponnet (France) and Peter Holmberg (US Virgin Islands) all ended smiling on 4-0; John Merricks and Ian Walker more glum on 1-3.

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