FREMANTLE, Australia — Dennis Conner, seeking support in his campaign to inspect New Zealand's unique--and unbeaten--fiberglass boat, today called for an urgent meeting of the 13 challengers from six countries to urge organizers to take core samples of the 12-meter boat designated KZ7.
The issue is being compared to the New York Yacht Club's attempt to have Australia II's winged keel ruled illegal in 1983. The NYYC spent six weeks unsuccessfully trying to expel Australia II, the boat that went on to defeat Conner's Liberty and snap the 132-year-long U.S. winning streak.
This time officials with the NYYC's America II syndicate want no part of the uproar.
"We're not involved with the fiberglass controversy," Chairman Richard M. Devos said. "We're not the judge nor the jury. It's not up to us to stir it up. Conner has chosen to. I guess we will let him carry that ball."
Meanwhile, Chris Dickson lost a crewman overboard, then retrieved him before the start and sailed KZ7 to its eighth straight victory by a lopsided four minutes over Britain's White Crusader (6-3), which was expected to give a better battle.