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CAYARD FACES CHALLENGE

The crew and boat of the America One syndicate have been battered. Skipper Paul Cayard's confidence -- in public anyway -- remains intact.

"We don't give up too easily," he said after falling behind Prada of Italy, 3-1, in the best-of-nine America's Cup challenger finals.

"It's not something to get a complex about," he said after breaking his second spinnaker in two days in Sunday's fourth race. "This is an awesome mast that we put in the boat," he said of his backup mast after the original was damaged in Saturday's third race in which he withdrew for fear the mast would break.

Still, the Americans must win four of a possible five races to advance to the America's Cup final against defending champion New Zealand, another best-of-nine series starting Feb. 19.

After taking today off, AmericaOne and Prada were meet on the 18 1/2 -mile Hauraki Gulf course off Auckland on Tuesday.

So far, neither team has shown a decided advantage in boat speed. But Prada's equipment and crew work have been superior.

Cayard led Sunday's race at every mark, but a poor gybe on the final leg allowed Prada to come back. About a minute from the finish line, America One was still ahead but was penalized for getting in the way of Prada, which had the right of way.

AmericaOne crossed the line a half boat-length ahead of Prada, but had to make a 270-degree penalty turn and lost by 2 minutes, 32 seconds as a result of the call by umpires in a boat watching the race.

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