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CONNER OUT OF AMERICA'S CUP

Dennis Conner is all but finished with the America's Cup, unable to raise the staggering amount of cash needed to fund his own team and too old to steer someone else's boat.

The 62-year-old Conner has said for more than a year that he likely would be priced out of the next America's Cup. With the entry deadline for the 2007 regatta hours away, Conner made if official that he would not have a team in the cup for the first time in 30 years.

"I would say I'm definitely done as an owner," said Conner, who won and lost the cup more than any man in history -- four wins and two defeats. "I don't see how it will get any cheaper. You have to show up at all these preliminary events, and then you have no money left for the main event. It's great for the rich guys, but for the average guys, it's a disaster."

Some syndicates backed by billionaires have budgets of more than $100 million. Relying on corporate backing, Conner spent about $40 million on the last cup, in New Zealand in 2002-03, and didn't even make it to the challenger finals.

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