Will They Blow the Men Down?

As the trials begin, the first all-female team sets out to capture the macho America's Cup

The cold war is fading, so let's get down to a more basic conflict: Can the girls beat the boys? Ever since Queen Victoria reluctantly handed over an 8- lb. silver ewer to a team of swaggering American sailors in 1851, the America's Cup (as it was called from then on) has overflowed with machismo. It was not just the Vanderbilts, the Liptons, the Ted Turners, the Alan Bonds, the Baron Bichs and the Raul Gardinis out to prove who was the richest, swiftest guy on the dock. The very image of the U.S. as a mega-tech superpower seemed at stake....

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