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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
The modern era
BBC Sport Online details the last seven races in the America's Cup.

The last quarter of a century has seen a more competitive and exciting edge with America's stranglehold on the event finally being broken.

The seven races since 1980 have seen three different holders - America, Australia and New Zealand.

And boat design has radically changed with 12-metre racing and the International America's Cup Class sandwiching one of the lowest points in the history of the race in 1988.


1980 - Freedom 4-1 Australia

America's Dennis Conner made a winning debut as skipper on Freedom.

Australia, now the dominant challenger in an ever growing international field, closed the gap on America but still fell short of taking the trophy.

America took the opening rubber in an Olin Stephens designed boat before the Australians levelled.

Their victory led to Conner complaining of foul tactics over their failure to show lights at dusk, but despite the setback the hosts closed out an outstanding defence.


1983 - Liberty 3-4 Australia II

  Sailing innovation
New Zealander Tom Schnackenberg introduced the gennaker to the America's Cup as part of Australia's winning effort
America's domination was finally broken in the closest contest in Cup history after Australia won through the first Louis Vuitton Cup for the right to challenge the hosts.

Never before had the event gone to a sixth race, let alone a seventh race decider.

With Alan Bond's funding, Ben Lezcen's revolutionary winged keel design and John Bertrand as skipper, Australia II came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down.

Bertrand, the great grandson of Sir Thomas Lipton's master engineer Thomas Pearkes, crossed the line 41 seconds in front in the final race to break a 132-year winning streak.


1987 - Kookaburra III 0-4 Stars and Stripes

America and Dennis Conner reclaimed the Cup with a dominant performance in Western Australia.

After intense planning and training in Hawaii, Conner's crew won through for the right to challenge Australia and romped to victory.

The Americans had been preparing for three years to reclaim the Cup, and when the chance came they did not disappoint.

Conner and his crew won by an average of more than a minute in each race in the last Cup match to feature 12-metres.


1988 - Stars and Stripes 2-0 KZ1

The 27th Cup meeting was widely considered to be the low point in the history of the America's Cup.

Dennis Conner celebrates victory on Stars and Stripes
Conner celebrates victory
New Zealander Michael Fay challenged Conner to a new mode of race which the American accepted - one hi-tech super yacht each.

The challenger was a glass fibre 132 footer, with a 40-man crew. Conner opted for a 60ft catamaran.

Stars and Stripes took the win but briefly lost the Cup after a costly court case when the challengers complained about the use of a catamaran.


1992 - America3 4-1 Il Moro di Venezia

After the farce four years earlier, designers had agreed that America's Cup yachts should be 75 feet.

And the reputation of the America's Cup was boosted by Bill Koch leading America to a memorable victory.

Experts had predicted America's downfall, but they only lost one race - the closest in Cup history - by four seconds.

Moro's skipper Paul Cayard had no answer to Koch in a race viewed as a triumph for American technology and pre-race testing.


1995 - Young America 0-5 Black Magic

New Zealand's Black Magic swept through the Louis Vuitton Cup with an unprecedented 37-1 record.

New Zealand's Black Magic cuts across Young America en route to victory
Black Magic cuts across Young America
And they maintained their form in the America's Cup with a clean sweep over their American hosts.

Sir Peter Blake headed the low-budget syndicate with Tom Schnackenberg the brains behind the operation.

Any alterations were met by the same mantra, "Will it make the boat go faster", and skipper Russell Coutts ensured that when it mattered, it did.


2000 - Team New Zealand 5-0 Luna Rossa

New Zealand called on the same tactical triumvirate that won them their first Cup title five years earlier.

Sir Peter Blake, Tom Schnackenberg and Russell Coutts did not disappoint on home water.

Italy's Prada earned the right to race the hosts after an impressive performance in the Louis Vuitton Cup.

However, on the bigger stage they were no match for the hosts who defended their title in style taking their active Cup record to 10-0.

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