Speaking of the defenders, their second series is almost over. The gold-hulled Kookaburras, II and III, continue to dominate their crosstown counterparts, Australia III and IV. Kookaburra II is giving Alan Bond's No. 1 boat, Australia IV, a run for second place, while Kookaburra III, steered by the brilliant helmsman, designer and syndicate organizer Iain Murray, is leading them all. Unless Bond's boys have something up their sleeves for December, the Kookaburras will be laughing in January.
"Every team will be stronger next month," said Dickson, trying humility on for size. "Sure, we'd love to repeat our performance, but the odds are against it." Coming from a sailor who has already beaten the odds up, down and sideways, they were comforting words.