Rival crews of Australian and French yachts challenging for the American's Cup have arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, to prepare for the coming series of races.
GV Shipyard & name (2 shots)
GV Quayside & ships
BV Stern of Gretel II
SV French crew looking Gretel II
CU Damage to stern & designer examines damage (3 shots)
SV Hull of boat being hosed
SV Crew of Gretel prepare to weigh mast (2 shots)
CU Mast weighed
LV `La France' at quayside PAN TO stern name plate
CU M. Bic (Owner of La France) PAN TO crew
SV Crew working on board
LV Crew folding sail
LV ZOOM IN TO American ship `Constellation'
LV `France being towed
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Background: Rival crews of Australian and French yachts challenging for the American's Cup have arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, to prepare for the coming series of races. Australian hopes received an immediate set-back when their yacht, Gretel II, damaged her stern on a slipway shortly after arriving this week-end.
The news is that the damage is serious and will take several days to repair. so Gretel's preparations for a seven-race elimination against the French entry, La France, will be delayed.
The elimination will decide which of the challengers will compete against the United States this September for the America's Cup -- the famous yachting trophy which has been contested off Rhode Island for the last 119 years.
The 12-metre Gretal II was launched only last February. Skipper Jim Hardy and his crew have maintained a discreet silence about their yacht's capability. But trials in the Tasman Sea suggest that she is much faster than Dame Pattie. Australia's 1967 challenger, which lost 0-4 to America's Intrepid - the yacht which may again carry U.S. hopes in this year's series.