7. BACK TO AMERICA

Dennis Conner, basking in presidential welcomes and ticker-tape parades through New York, was in no rush to settle the details of the next event, and New Zealand, exploiting a loophole in the century old Deed of Gift, demanded an immediate challenge in 1988.

What resulted was the first America’s Cup Finals where two different styles of boat raced each other, with the Kiwis in a giant 90-foot waterline boat against Conner in a much smaller but faster hard-winged catamaran. The best of three series went to the Americans and after numerous court challenges – the teams spent far more time battling in a courtroom than they did on the water – the result stood.