Australia's Gretel II won the fourth race of the America's Cup elimination trials against the French yacht France on Friday(August 28).
MV Gretel arrives in dark (2 shots)
MV France arrives (ZOOM IN CU Baron Bich
SV Jim Hardy
REPORTER: "And what happened?
HARDY: We kept on sailing until Mike Vanderbilt worked out that we had gone far enough away from the line that we would be over the line by the time we got back so we turned around and came back and started ahead of the other yacht.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Australia's Gretel II won the fourth race of the America's Cup elimination trials against the French yacht France on Friday(August 28). It will now challenge the United States for the coveted trophy in a best-of-seven series starting on September 15.
Gretel II beat the French challenger in four consecutive races. In the fourth race France was skippered for the first time by Baron Marcel Bich the 55-year-old millionaire-head of the French syndicate. The Baron lost his way in the fog and missed one of the marks on the fourth leg. Eventually the French yacht abandoned the race 43 minutes and 6 seconds after Gretel II crossed the finishing line.
It was the widest margin of victory in any race connected with the America's Cup. The French contender was taken in tow by its tender after spending 25 minutes vainly trying to find the finishing line.
Dense fog brought visibility down to 100 feet(30 metres) and made it impossible for the two yachts to see each other for most of the race.
Gretel II, skippered by Jim Hardy, is the third Australian 12-metre yacht to challenge for the America's Cup and the second one to be financed by Sir Frank Packer, a Sydney newspaper and television magnate.
The Australians must now wait and see which yacht will defend the trophy for America. Intrepid, which won the trophy in 1967, and Valiant are still racing in elimination trials to decide which will defend the 115- year old trophy, which America has never yet lost.
After the race, the Australian skipper Jim Hardy was asked about the start of the race when both yachts jumped the gun: