RORC hosts Brit America's Cup challenge

And Richard Sydenham tells Andy Rice about his and the rest of the squad's plans over the coming weeks

Thursday February 22nd 2001, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is to be the host club for the British America's Cup campaign, Peter Harrison's GBR Challenge. The IT multimillionaire commented: "I'm pleased that RORC has come on board to lodge the America's Cup entry on behalf of GBR Challenge. The agreement with RORC has enabled us to formally enter the competition for the 31st America's Cup and I look forward to seeing GBR Challenge on the start line for the Louis Vuitton Cup."
With RORC based in the centre of London in St James' Place, it looks as though this agreement means that the America's Cup could be held anywhere in British shores. Provided, of course, that the campaign headed by Ian Walker and David Barnes were to win the Auld Mug from New Zealand in two years' time.

The 'notice of challenge for the match', the necessary papers and a banker's draft for the $US 150,000 entry fee for the America's Cup entry have been delivered to Peter Taylor, Commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Meanwhile, GBR Challenge squad member Richard Sydenham has been updating madforsailing with his latest plans. "I'm off snowboarding for a week before the whole squad gathers for the first time in Cowes on 5 March. I suppose it will be a chance for everyone to say hello to each other, and I believe we'll have access to the yard there.

"Then I'm off with Andy Green, Andy Beadsworth, Nick Pearson and Jim Turner to compete in a couple of match racing events. First we're doing the Steinlager Cup in Auckland with Andy Green steering, then the Australia Cup with Andy Beadsworth at the helm. The idea is to send some of the more experienced match racers in the squad to get some racing on the professional circuit, while the rest of the squad deals with the boats when they arrive." The IACC yachts are currently in transit from Japan and are due to arrive in the UK on 18 March.

"We get back from Australia on 27 March, and then it's time for all of us to unload the containers and try to work out how to rig these boats. There aren't too many of us who have actually sailed the IACC boats before."

And so the hard work begins, but Sydenham said different members of the squad would be rotated into the Swedish Match circuit in the course of the year, to help keep everybody's hand in on the professional match racing tour.

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