Suddenly I realized that the long uphill battle of the summer was all but over. Suddenly my fear of Eagle and Bill Cox seemed to float away. Bill, except on that last leg, had sailed an almost flawless race. I had not, but we had never given up, never cracked and finally had done what had to be done. I would not likely make the same mistakes again. Bill could hardly expect to sail again so well. And both Constellation and her crew could be counted on when the going got toughest.
Rod looked at me quizzically as he caught me smiling to myself, perhaps not realizing that it was at that very moment I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be chosen to defend the America's Cup.