German America's Cup Challenge announced

illbruck Challenge and Duesseldorf Yacht Club to go for the America's Cup

Wednesday November 1st 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The illbruck Challenge, with a Volvo Ocean Race programme in full-swing, has today announced at the Hamburg Boat Show that it will also be racing for the 2003 America's Cup. They plan a one boat campaign, with a view to winning the following event. The challenge is backed by the Duesseldorf Yacht Club, and will be led by the skipper of the Volvo campaign, John Kostecki. The announcement was made by Michael Illbruck, Chief Executive Officer, illbruck GmbH and Peter Strosek, Commodore, Duesseldorf YC. The Club, founded in 1908, has a membership of more than 480 and organises the annual North Sea Race Week.
'Our America's Cup campaign will start with a one-boat program for America's Cup XXXI in 2003 with our eye on victory in America's Cup XXXII,' Illbruck said today. 'The powerful performance it will take to win the America's Cup is not something that comes overnight. We will take a long-term approach to winning the America's Cup. We are honoured to Challenge on behalf of Germany and the Duesseldorf Yacht Club,' Illbruck added. 'We encourage the support and involvement of the entire German sailing community in this endeavour.'

They've changed the name of the syndicate to illbruck Challenge, to acknowledge the greater scope, and the plan is to keep the same team of people together for the two race programs. Michael Richelsen, illbruck Challenge Director of Design/Research and Development, will head the design and technology program. Richelsen will draw on his experience as Director of Design Systems at North Sails and his involvement in various America's Cup campaigns since 1983, most recently with AmericaOne. Richelsen is building a team of yacht designers, scientists and experts in Velocity Prediction Programs (VPP), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and structural composites. The yacht designers Friedrich Judel and Torsten Conradi from the design firm of Judel/Vrolijk are already on the team, as is sail designer Patrik Erlandson from North Sails Sweden.

They have also pulled in scientists from Germany's leading research facilities, including the Hamburg Ship Model Basin, to work exclusively for illbruck. Tank testing and CFD work will be done both at FH Kiel, a technical university, and HSVA, a leading European tank testing facility. The illbruck Challenge design office will be located in Hamburg, Germany, centrally located to the team's tank testing facilities and research partners.

The America's Cup race boat will be built in Germany as will the boat for the Volvo Ocean Race. The team's new Volvo Ocean 60, designed by Farr Yacht Design, is now under construction at the illbruck plant in Leverkusen, Germany. Killian Bushe, a veteran in composite construction of Whitbread and America's Cup boats and a range of other offshore racing boats, is the lead boat-builder of the illbruck Challenge. Five-time America's Cup veteran Chris Bedford heads up the meteorology team.

The illbruck Challenge sailing team, led by Kostecki, already includes top Volvo and America's Cup talent such as America's Cup winner and Whitbread veteran Ross "Rosco" Halcrow. A trimmer with 1995 Cup winner Team New Zealand, Halcrow was trimmer both with the 1999-2000 Young America Challenge and the 1992 New Zealand America's Cup Challenge. A winner of five world championships, he competed in the 1989-90 and 1997-98 Whitbread Round The World Races and was part of the winning 1993 Admiral's Cup Pinta team. Crew members Ray Davies and Dirk de Ridder will compete in the illbruck Challenge in both the Volvo Ocean Race and the America's Cup. Both Davies and de Ridder were with Kostecki in the AmericaOne campaign.

The pace isn't stopping on the Volvo front either, with the illbruck Challenge team starting a Southern Ocean training session next week in Fremantle, Australia. The team will depart from Fremantle for Auckland, New Zealand on November 20, before competing in the Sydney-Hobart Race in December. Training for the America's Cup will begin upon conclusion of the Volvo Ocean Race in June 2002 from the recently secured illbruck base, the former America True base, in Auckland's Viaduct Basin.

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