BT Global Challenge attracts a VIP line up

Leg four will start with some familiar names in the fleet - but not familiar for their sailing prowess

Friday February 16th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The BT Global Challenge website is reporting a star-studded fleet for the next leg of the global circumnavigation, kicking off from Wellington in New Zealand this Sunday, and headed over to Sydney. British actor Jeremy Irons will join LG FLATRON - the boat of our madforsailing diary writers. Another thespian, Robert Powell, will be aboard Logica, and rugby star Zinzan Brooke will complete the VIP line-up, sailing on VERITAS.

"To have such a considerable challenge and have the good fortune of being asked - it seemed to be something I couldn’t turn down," said Irons. "You’ve got to fill your life with something - because you’re only here once. I’ve always been attracted to situations that test me, and I’ve also always been attracted to the unknown. This is the unknown: the Southern Ocean." Er, actually Jeremy, it's the Tasman Sea, but who's going to be picky?

While Robert Powell was happy to admit that he wouldn't have volunteered for the trip, but having been asked, he could hardly say no - his wife Babs is racing as a full time crew member aboard VERITAS, with Zinzan Brooke. Unlike many of his countrymen, the Kiwi rugby player has little sailing experience, in contrast, Jeremy Irons owns a 30 foot wooden yawl which he keeps in Ireland. But he was anxious to point out that this size of boat and crew would be a whole new experience. "I’m expecting the worst and I hope to be pleasantly surprised," Irons added.

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