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Catching The Wind

January 23, 1991|BOB GRIESER

SAN DIEGO — A new era has begun with the launch of the bigger IACC International America's Cup class boats, which are 75 feet long and feature masts of more than 100 feet.

Out on a recent sail on San Diego Bay (above), the America-3 syndicate's USA 2 dwarfs the old 12-meter Stars and Stripes.

The massive gennaker sail on the new class of boats will be difficult to handle. On a jibe, the sail must be put on the other side of the boat by moving outside of the headstay. The America-3 crew (top right) chases the sun as they reach off Point Loma. The sheer size of the sail (bottom right) is indicative of the power it will wield in a stiff breeze.

Many of the crews have begun their workouts, with Bill Koch's America-3 crew (far right) running off Mission Bay. The New Zealand crew will be training in Coronado, and the Italians, who recently arrived, likely will be do their training around Shelter Island.

The New Zealanders had their boat out for the first time Monday (right). Like those before them, the crewmen had problems with the huge main. In a rare sight, three crew members were up the mast.

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