A British America's Cup Challenge?

Tim Jeffery reckons so, in today's Daily Telegraph

Tuesday January 16th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Tim Jeffery has reported the existence of a British America's Cup challenge in the Daily Telegraph newspaper of the 16th January. Jeffery outlines the putative challenge in some detail, reckoning that it is backed by Peter Harrison. Harrison sold out of his network systems company Chernikeeff for a figure in the hundreds of millions and certainly has the cash. He has already supported the British Olympic trials, National Match Racing Championship and the 1999 Admiral's Cup team.

Supposedly in the hot seat as operations manager is Kiwi David Barnes, dominant 470 sailor of the early 1980s, and then part of both the 'Plastic Fantastic' New Zealand team in 1987, the subsequent 1988 Big Boat challenge and Fay's final throw in 1992. Barnes then worked as a coach with One Australia in 1995, and America True in 2000.

Jeffery reckons that Olympic double silver medallist Ian Walker will be heading the sailing team, Ian is currently racing in Key West. While others reportedly involved on the design side include: Derek Clark, Walker's coach from both the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and head of the design group in the abandoned 1988 Blue Arrow Challenge; Jo Richards, bronze medallist in the Flying Dutchman in 1984 and a highly regarded 'outside the box' designer; Hugh Welbourn and Ian Campbell of the Wolfson Unit are also mentioned in the article.

Apparently the team has bought the two Japanese boats from their 2000 challenge, and their designers may also have input to the British team.

So there you have it - believe it, or not? Jeffery reckoned that there would be a formal announcement by the end of the month, so we'll all have to wait and see ...

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