Rod Carr talks America's Cup to madforsailing


The new secretary-general of the RYA has played an important behind-the-scenes role in making the GBR Challenge America's Cup campaign happen, he spoke to Ed Gorman
Rod, I know that the negotiations with Peter Harrison have been going on for a year or so, and there have been many turns in the road on this and several other attempts to get Britain back to the America's Cup. So what are your feelings at the very outset of this campaign now that it has launched? My feelings at the very outset of the campaign were probably about a year ago, that's when it really started, when we set out to try and get a British challenge off the ground. There have been a number of options and different people have come and gone and expressed their interest. I think that probably the thing that turned it was Peter Harrison's long involvement with competitive sailing, which he enjoys, and also the outstanding British result at the Games. That was the point that he thought, 'yes we can do really well, we can perform creditably.' That confidence helps enormously. Your heart has got to rule it in the end and I think that's what made the difference and from then on it's been putting the pieces of the jigsaw in place. How did the debate pan out about using our limited talent and the whole issue of balancing the Olympic campaign effort as a country, with going back to this competition, the America's Cup? I think in reality the market rules. As our young Olympic sailors mature, although the National Lottery is a wonderful thing, they can't go on earning around £16,000-a-year including their campaign costs. While you're in your young 20s that opportunity and the ability to sail for your country and win gold medals is just fantastic, but realistically you can't live the whole of your life on that sort of basis, so it is right that these people

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