Introducing Wight Magic

The new GBR Challenger leaves Cowes

Saturday August 3rd 2002, Author: Mark Bullingham, Location: United Kingdom
At a reception at Skandia Life Cowes Week this evening to mark the departure of the second British America's Cup boat for New Zealand, Peter Harrison, Founder and Chairman of GBR Challenge announced that GBR 78 will be named Wight Magic.

GBR 78 was placed on a barge and towed past the Royal Yacht Squadron where she was toasted by representatives from GBR Challenge's 28 sponsors, gathered on the lawn. The BBC's Peter Snow, who will present the BBC coverage on the America's Cup, was on hand for the celebrations and Wight Magic was given a traditional Maori farewell with a Haka.

From Cowes Wight Magic will be towed to Southampton docks where she will transferred to a special transporter, with a police escort, that will take her by road to Stansted. There she will be loaded into a Russian Antenov aircraft. These are the largest planes in the world and the only ones capable of taking the 80ft yacht to New Zealand. The Antenov and its precious cargo are due to leave Stansted at 1900hrs on Wednesday 7th August. After stopping in Bangkok and Singapore, GBR 78 is due to arrive in Auckland on Saturday 10th August.

Peter Harrison was delighted to see GBR 78 on her way to New Zealand: "I'm thrilled that the 33 strong build team has been able to build the second boat so fast, which has given us the option of flying Wight Magic to New Zealand. Flying out the second boat will give us five or six weeks of final practise and tune up time, which will be quite demanding on the team but will give us the maximum boat selection options between rounds."

"I have named her Wight Magic to continue the theme of linking with our team base on the Isle of Wight, where the auld mug was first contested 151 years ago. Wight also has a spiritual meaning of spirit, courage and enterprise, as well as magical connotations.

"Our ultimate ambition is to see Wight Magic up against Team New Zealand's Black Magic, racing for the America's Cup."

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