Dennis Conner was a double loser Saturday, and is one defeat away from the earliest elimination in his long America's Cup career.

Conner's first loss was in the protest room. An international jury ruled that Conner changed the damaged keel on Stars & Stripes during a period when no changes are allowed.The penalty was the annulment of his victory over America3's Mighty Mary on Tuesday, when Stars & Stripes, using the replacement keel, won by 1 minute, 31 seconds.

Stars & Stripes has lost three straight races since, including Saturday's 52-second defeat by the speedy Young America.

The net result is that Conner is down 3-2 to America3, and must beat Mighty Mary in two straight races to clinch the spot opposite Young America in the Citizen Cup final for defenders.

For two days, Mighty Mary and its crew of 15 women and one man faced elimination. Now it's Conner, a three-time America's Cup winner, who is on the brink.

It was a glum bunch on Stars & Stripes as it trailed by nearly a minute sailing the downwind run to the finish on Saturday. Twice, the onboard television microphone picked up comments equating Stars & Stripes to a dog.

"Obviously, everybody was hoping to go out there and have a successful race today against Young America, and unfortunately things weren't going that way," navigator Jim Brady said afterward. "We've had a few losses in the last few days, and some of the guys are probably a little bit disappointed."

After Stars & Stripes' keel was damaged last Sunday, the syndicate switched to one that had been retired several weeks ago.

So, after watching Young America run away in the second half of Saturday's race, the comments "were a feeling of the guys aboard that it's a little bit frustrating to sail on a boat that at this point we certainly don't have any edge with," Brady said.