Indulgence gears up for the Admiral's Cup

The IC45 changes ownership but Adrian Stead remains in charge

Friday November 17th 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
Adrian Stead's phone in Southampton is running hot as he attempts to get next year's busy schedule into place. Top of his agenda is to win the Admiral's Cup for Britain, he told madforsailing. 'We came close last time, and it's about time we got the job done.'
Long-time supporter of British big boat sailing, Graham Walker, has decided to bow out for the time being, and has recently sold his IC45 (they are no longer called Corel 45s), Indulgence, to telecom's entrepreneur, Robert Condon. Condon has carved an impressive reputation in the telecoms industry here and in Hong Kong. He was also one of the founding directors of the last British assault on the America's Cup, the Crusader campaign in Fremantle 1987.

In the past year he has been campaigning a Swan 48, Broadsword, at regattas in Europe, including a fourth place in Saint-Tropez at the end of the season. Now he has a Frers designed Swan 70 on order, which will be skippered by Stephen Dawson, but which could easily involve Stead as well.

Stead said he was delighted that Condon had decided to pick up where Walker left off. 'He wants to continue campaigning Indulgence at the same high level that Graham has pursued over the last few years,' commented Stead.

Stead is now busy building up the crew for his assault on the Admiral's Cup. 'I am looking to recruit from current Indulgence members, my Barlo Plastics team, and also to get a couple of Olympians on board.' Richard Sydenham is looking likely as main trimmer, while Condon is keen to secure the services of Ben Ainslie as helmsman.

Condon said a sponsor for the IC45 would be announced at the RORC dinner on 6 December, and believed we could be closer to knowing whether Britain would be mounting an America's Cup campaign for 2003. He hinted that he might get involved in such a project saying, 'If I were asked to be involved then I would be delighted to accept.'

Condon believed that there was a 'greater than 50 per cent' chance of a campaign getting off the ground, and that we would know one way or the other by January. Meanwhile, though, the telecoms tycoon is focused on winning the Admiral's Cup. 'As Adrian described it to me the other day, "We have some unfinished business to see to."'

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