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Old English segl "sail, veil, curtain," from Proto-Germanic *seglom (cf. Old Saxon, Swedish segel, Old Norse segl, Old Frisian seil, Dutch zeil, Old High German segal, German Segel), of obscure origin with no known cognates outside Germanic (Irish seol, Welsh hwyl "sail" are Germanic loan-words). In some sources (Klein, OED) referred to PIE root *sek- "to cut," as if meaning "a cut piece of cloth." To take the wind out of (someone's) sails (1888) is to deprive (someone) of the means of progress, especially by sudden and unexpected action, "as by one vessel sailing between the wind and another vessel," ["The Encyclopaedic Dictionary," 1888].
Old English segilan "travel on water in a ship; equip with a sail," from the same Germanic source as sail (n.); cognate with Old Norse sigla, Middle Dutch seghelen, Dutch zeilen, Middle Low German segelen, German segeln. Meaning "to set out on a sea voyage, leave port" is from c.1200. Related: Sailed; sailing.
In summer 2007 the America's Cup completed its three-year course of almost continuous competition, with a spectacular final series between defending Alinghi of Switzerland and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. The ACC boats-Alinghi and New Zealand, respectively-were equal in speed, and the crews were professional in their performance, after three years of full-time preoccupation with the quest for the Cup. After four races the two teams were tied at two races each before Alinghi went ahead four races to two. The seventh and final race saw the lead change numerous times, the last time at the finish line, and Alinghi won by a scant one-second margin as New Zealand completed a penalty just before finishing. It was an exciting encounter, displayed beautifully in 3-D animation online and by worldwide television, using racetrack software to provide an overhead view of the competition. Almost immediately, the Swiss team announced new conditions for the next challenge in 2009, some of which appeared to favour the defender. The potential challengers objected, and the American team Oracle filed an independent challenge to take place in 2008. The New York Trust Court would decide the case, determining what could be done under the terms of the Deed of Gift of the Cup