The Cup Turneth Over

San Diego loses yachting's biggest prize -- in a courtroom

Time was when yachting seemed the last preserve of the gentleman athlete. All that changed in the 1980s, as the sport bred enough litigious excess to make Horatio Hornblower reach for the Dramamine. The latest episode in the salty soap opera better known as the America's Cup series came last week, when a New York Supreme Court justice stripped the San Diego Yacht Club of the sport's most coveted prize.

The controversy began sailing toward the court in 1983, when, for the first time since the competition started in 1851, America lost the America's Cup to a high-tech upstart from Australia....

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