Ian Budgen to race in Key West

49er sailor looks forward to busy big boat season

Wednesday January 10th 2001, Author: Andy Rice & Premiere Racing, Location: United Kingdom
Ian Budgen has got over the disappointment of seeing the Soling rejected from the Olympics, and is looking forward to a season of big boat racing. The former 49er crew, who was due to team up with Richard Sydenham and Jim Turner in the three-man keelboat, is now lined up to race on Tony Buckingham’s Farr 40 for Key West Race Week in mid-January, and then to helm Dave McLean’s IC45 Babalaas for the summer, most likely including the Admiral’s Cup.
"I’d still like to win a medal at the Olympics but I probably wouldn’t be able to take the opportunities I’m getting now if I was planning a Soling campaign," he told madforsailing. In the short term he is looking forward to racing in Key West Race Week, which has 326 registered entrants.

The organisers, Premiere Racing, report that America’s Cup sailors are flocking there in droves. Ken Read, the designated driver for Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes, said: "From now on, every bit of sailing I do will be looking toward New Zealand [in 2002-2003]." Read will be at the helm of Makoto Uematsu's Farr 50 Esmeralda, and the 38-boat Farr 40 class will be overloaded with superstars calling tactics for owner-drivers.

Dean Barker, now the leader of Team New Zealand, will be aboard Hasse Plattner's Farr 40 Morning Glory from Germany, John Cutler (ex-America True, now Oracle) on David Thomson's Peregrine from New Zealand, Gavin Brady (ex-AmericaOne, now Prada) on Steve Kaminer's Predator, Morgan Larson (ex-AmericaOne, now One World) on Philippe Kahn's Pegasus, and Peter Isler (Stars & Stripes) on Brack Duker's Revolution.

They'll talk about their prospects at an America's Cup panel discussion following Wednesday's racing. For them, the campaign for 2002-2003 starts here. Besides Read, Esmeralda's crew will include sailors from various teams. "It's a great crew and the core of it has been sailing with Mr. Uematsu for a number of years," Read said. "We'll have team members from Seattle [One World], Oracle and Stars & Stripes."

In that regard, sailing is unique in sports. "The grand prix sailing community has gone toward that for quite a while now," Read said. "Who you're married to one day is your arch enemy the next. At Admiral's Cup one year you looked around and half of those guys were on your team the next week, and half of your guys were the enemy. We all have great friends that are on other teams. We have the ability to go out on the water and do battle with them, and then come in and have a beer with them."

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