GBR build second boat

Peter Harrison makes preparations for next British Cup challenge

Tuesday March 5th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Peter Harrison's GBR Challenge are to construct a second new boat at their build facility by the Medina River in Cowes. The boat is not destined for the Louis Vuitton Cup in October, but is the first indication of Peter Harrison investing in the future of GBR Challenge beyond this Cup.

"Peter wants to ensure that should GBR Challenge carry on into the next cycle, it is in the best possible shape," a spokesman for the British America's Cup challenger told madfor sailing. "Should it happen again he doesn't want to be in a position of only having GBR 70 [the new boat currently in build] as a trial horse."

In an attempt to keep costs from spiralling even higher in the world's most expensive yacht race, America's Cup rules restrict syndicates from building more than two new boats for each challenge. If GBR Challenge did not build a second boat now, they would be left with only one up to date boat, GBR70, to use to train in for their next challenge. They would have to buy a second training boat from another syndicate, but of course would only be able to buy the boat and not the technical or design information about the boat - a considerable drawback compared to having all the build, design and technical data in their possesion.

With the second boat due to be launched late next spring, GBR Challenge will be in a position to start training as soon as this Cup finishes. GBR Challenge are not divulging whether there are any design differences between GBR-70 and the new training boat.

At present the efforts of the build team are concentrating on getting GBR-70 ready in time for her launch by the Princess Royal on 12 April. Contrary to previous reports the boat will now only spend one week in the UK after her launch before being shipped to NZ.

GBR Challenge's budget has now escalated up from around £20 million to £22 million, although still considerably short of the outrageous sums being spent by the super-campaigns such as Prada, OneWorld, Oracle and Alinghi. Still it is a good omen for the Brits and an indication of how determined Peter Harrison that his efforts should not go to waste should GBR Challenge not bring home the silverware on this occasion.

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