Sport: Gem of the Ocean

She was superb: her losses mostly had to be marked off to crew mistakes, and her victories largely came from her built-in speed. Sleek and sturdy, white-hulled Columbia was clearly the fastest boat throughout the elimination trials to pick a defender for the America's Cup. Last week she won two of three races from 19-year-old Vim, her final opponent, and the selection committee judged Columbia the gem of the ocean, fit to meet Britain's Sceptre this weekend in the start of the four-out-of-seven series that will be raced alternately over triangular and windward-leeward...

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