Sport: Grim Duel at Newport

Out of Newport Harbor streamed the spectator fleet—a hundred boats of every size and description, from 15-ft. "harbor rats" with patched sails to majestic 50-ft.

motor sailers adorned with bunnies in bikinis and old salts in yachting caps. Picnic baskets were broken out, and beer cans began bobbing gently in the glassy sea.

But there was no merriment aboard the four sleek U.S. 12-meter yachts standing tall and aloof across the water. The final elimination trials were at hand, and crewmen waited tensely for the starting gun that would send them off, two by...

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