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Will Alinghi be able to keep its nose in front of Oracle?

(Ivo Rovira/Alinghi)




America's Cup

The inaugural race was held off the Isle of Wight in 1851. America dominated the race until 1983 when Australia won the trophy.

In 1995 New Zealand became only the third country to win the competition, successfully defending their title in 2000.

Alinghi sailed to victory against Team New Zealand in 2003 and became the first European team to win the Auld Mug.

The Swiss syndicate defended its title in a best-of-nine series off the coast of the Spanish city of Valencia in June/July 2007, beating Team New Zealand 5-2.

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Skulduggery in the high court

Adapting the rules or resorting to the court has long been part and parcel of the America's Cup.

In the early days, the New York Yacht Club was accused of holding races in shallow waters, putting challengers who had travelled across the Atlantic at a disadvantage.

In 1983, the club tried to get Australia II's radical winged keel declared illegal, but failed to do so and lost the Cup to the challenger in a thrilling series of seven races.

In 1988, the San Diego Yacht Club' defender used a giant catamaran to defeat a monohull challenge from New Zealand, a lopsided event that was considered a fiasco. A court upheld the Americans choice of boat on appeal after a prolonged legal battle.

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