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  Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Team Dennis Conner
Dennis Conner's latest bid has run into trouble
Dennis Conner's latest bid has run into trouble
Ever-present for almost thirty years, Dennis Conner is something of an America's Cup institution.

He won the Cup in 1974, 1980, 1987 and 1988 and will be hoping to end his long barren spell on board Stars and Stripes in Auckland.

It will not be easy.

  Team Dennis Conner
Country: USA
Base: San Diego
Head: Dennis Conner
Skipper: Conner
Budget: US$40m
Sail no: USA 66, USA 77

Conner saw his preparations dealt a massive blow in July, when his newest boat - USA-77 - sank while training one mile off the California coast.

A few months on, the team remains optimistic and will rely heavily on experienced helmsman Ken Read as Conner abdicates some of his sailing responsibilities.

Conner is flying the flag for the New York Yacht Club for the first time since 1983 when he lost the Cup to Alan Bond's Australia II, ending America's 132-year domination.

But four years later Conner hit back in Fremantle, Western Australia, defeating Kookaburra III with his newly-formed Stars and Stripes syndicate out of the San Diego Yacht Club.

One year on New Zealand's Sir Michael Fay lodged his Big Boat challenge.

Conner answered with a revolutionary catamaran, called Stars and Stripes, but the event descended into acrimony and a succession of court battles.

The eventual ruling found in favour of Conner but the controversy led to the standardising of boats under the America's Cup Class rules, still in operation today.

This time around Conner's syndicate will contend but they may ultimately be outgunned by the other American bids.

Verdict: Conner must wait for number five.

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