British America's Cup bid on track

Rod Carr tells madforsailing that a British America's Cup bid is still a possibility. Ed Gorman reports

Thursday November 23rd 2000, Author: Ed Gorman, Location: United Kingdom
It has been all quiet on the British America's Cup front for several weeks since it slipped out that the businessman Peter Harrison was considering funding a bid for the next Louis Vuitton series to the tune of £10 million. The accent was to be on the new generation of top sailors and many of the British Olympic team were expected to be involved including Ian Walker as skipper.

The silence, however, is not a sign that the process is stalling with sources close to the bid believing it is still progressing. One of the key players is Rod Carr, the secretary-general of the RYA, who has been liaising with Harrison and others involved behind the scenes.

Carr told madforsailing: "There's some quiet work going on behind the scenes in all the directions you'd expect. But at this moment I have to say that Peter Harrison - whose name is now out in the public domain - has not actually confirmed that he will do it. It's moving ever closer but a couple of pieces of the jigsaw that he wants in place, aren't there yet."

The problem areas are not fully clear but it is thought one concerns commercial aspects of the bid and the other is to do with the individuals who might be involved. One issue, which had yet to be resolved when news of Harrison's involvement was first made public, was how his contribution and role would work if a major commercial sponsor also signed up for the bid.

Carr would not elaborate on any of the problem areas and simply re-stated his hope that Britian will again take part in the most prestigious event in world sailing. "I think it's very important that Britain has a good challenge for the 2003 America's Cup," he said.

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