What's in a name?

GBR Challenge make a play on words with a name for their new boat

Tuesday March 5th 2002, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: United Kingdom
The fact that some 18,940 individual entries were received in the Blue Peter TV show competition to name the GBR Challenge America's Cup yacht provides an ample measure of the interest being shown in the campaign by British youngsters. Yesterday afternoon the winning name was announced, accompanied no doubt by groans from the assembled parents at the well developed word sense of the succesful entry. Making a play on the word 'Wight', George Pickering from Surrey from one of three entries to suggest the name Wight Lightning.

It says much for the imagination of the nation's youth that from the nearly twenty thousand entries received, there were no more than 25 suggestions of any one name. "There were some very creative and also amusing names which, if not entirely suitable, showed considerable lateral thinking,” said GBR Challenge Chairman, Peter Harrison.

Harrison, who flew back from New Zealand especially to take part in the decision making process, was joined by a panel of judges including the Blue Peter presenters to select the winning entry. "I am delighted and astonished with the amount of cards and letters from some 18,940 Blue Peter viewers," he said. “Wight is very apt for GBR Challenge, as the new boat is being built on the Isle of Wight, which is the home base for the team. The word Wight also has a poetic or literary meaning – 'spirit' or 'ghost'. Definitions of 'spirit' include courage, determination and energy, which reflect our team. 'Ghost', meaning to glide smoothly and effortlessly, we hope reflects the properties of the new boat, as does the word Lightning which, besides describing a natural phenomena, means very quick."

Blue Peter presenter Simon, commented, "The imagination of Blue Peter viewers never ceases to amaze us and we found it a really hard job sifting through the best of the entries as there were so many of them. But it was great fun and we think the winning name is superb".

Wight Lightning will be the first ever America’s Cup Class boat to be built in Britain and is currently under construction at the GBR Challenge base in Cowes. The boat will be named on the 12th April 2002 by HRH Princess Anne. George Pickering, will be present at the naming ceremony.

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