Sailing: Read reels in Young America

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DENNIS CONNER'S Stars & Stripes dealt another blow to the New York Yacht Club's America's Cup ambitions yesterday when they defeated Young America by 27sec in the third round of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Ken Read, at the helm of Stars & Stripes, took control even before the start, holding the Young America skipper, Ed Baird, at bay to start with a 31-second advantage. By the first mark, that lead had extended to over two minutes. On the second leg the wind switched, allowing Young America to close the gap to 32sec, and then to just nine seconds at the third mark. However, Read and tacticians Tom Whidden and Peter Holmberg, sailed a classic match race and eventually took the winning gun. Stars & Stripes are now in fifth place against Young America's seventh, with the top six boats after this round making the semi-finals.

In the day's other race, America True, skippered by John Cutler, had a comfortable victory over James Spithill and his Young Australia crew.