INTRODUCTION Yachting - and the latest French contender for the coveted America's Cup, 'France II' was put through her paces in the Mediterranean on Saturday (23 April).
SV: French America's Cup Challenger 'France II' being prepared for sea in Hyeres port, France.
CU: name on starboard quarter.
SV: vessel being prepared for trials.
SV: boat owner Baron Bich walking on quayside.
SV: France II
SV: children under instruction in sailing dinghies.
SV: Bich at helm taking vessel out of harbour.
LV and CU: France II under sail at sea. (2 shots)
LVs: France II underway (2 shots)
GV: France II (nearest camera) with racing yacht 'Constellation' in background.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION The final challenge for the cup will be off Newport, Rhode Island, USA in September.
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Background: INTRODUCTION Yachting - and the latest French contender for the coveted America's Cup, 'France II' was put through her paces in the Mediterranean on Saturday (23 April). The Cup is one of the most prized trophies in the international yachting calender, and the France II joins a long list of contenders to try taking it away from the United States.
SYNOPSIS: The new 12-metre yacht put to sea from the port of Hyeres in the south of France. She was launched a month ago (23 March) from her shipyard in Marseilles, further along the coast.
The owner of the 'France II' is Baron Marcel Bich, a wealthy ball-point pen manufacturer with considerable experience of the America's Cup.
Children from a local boating school perhaps dreamed of the top end of yachting as they practised the basis rudiments of sailing.
Baron Bich took the helm himself as the yacht headed out to sea. The France II is the Baron's second challenger for the cup. His first the "France" raced in both 1970 and 1974, but lost in the elimination series, the last time to an Australian challenger.
Saturday's trials were held against another of the Baron's yachts -- the Constellation. But the France II's first real test will be against the Swedish entry, called, perhaps predictably, "Sweden". The winner goes on to face Australia. Whoever wins that series takes on the cup holders, the United States.
The United States has held the America's Cup ever since the start of the competition in 1851. It's a long record, but records are there to be broken, and the "France II" will be doing her best to smash this one.