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Protest clouds today's final America's Cup race

A technical protest hung over today's deciding race in the America's Cup yachting contest. The challenger, Australia II, claimed the American boat Liberty violated the ''intention'' of the Cup's 12-meter rules by removing 1,000 pounds of ballast from its keel just before the race that would break a 3-3 tie. Even if Liberty wins the ''race of the century,'' as it is called, an international jury could agree with Australia II, thus forcing the US to give up a sailing trophy never lost in 24 challenges over 132 years.