New French challenger


 
The Daily Sail catches up with K Yachting's visionary boss Stéphane Kandler
If you haven't heard of Stéphane Kandler , then you will have heard of K-Yachting. This company, started by Kandler and his father Otwin in 1989, today seems to have it finger in many many pies in the yacht racing world from running fleets of boats, to organising events such as the One Ton Cup and Pro-Am Cup, to having an on-line chandlery business run out of their headquarters in Touloise, France. Outside of France they are probably best known for their Krazy K-Yote two ( yours now for US$ 300k) a radical design by Juan Kouyoumdjian - who was subsequently snapped up by Prada. This boat featured a fixed unstayed wingmast and famously got the boat thrown out of the 1999 Admiral's Cup. K-Yachting also manage the 470 sailor, Nicholas Charbonnier, 2002 European champion in Tallinn, who previously won four world championships in the 420 - the same record as Chris Dickson. But in recent months K-Yachting have jumped headlong into the international Grand Prix arena with the announcement of their challenge for the America's Cup after this one. Leading their AC campaign is Dawn Riley who they met when she sailed one of their IC45s at the One Ton Cup in Pwllheli in 2001. "We had a good contact. She was saying she wanted to sail the America’s Cup. We were saying – we want the same – let’s go!" says Kandler. Another French America's Cup challenge is not something to get the pulse racing. Even French people have admitted to The Daily Sail that French sailors tend not to be great team players and hence poorly suited to the America's Cup arena. But Kandler is worldly enough to acknowledge this. After all, he has spent most of his professional life trying to indoctrinate French sailors into Anglo-Saxon style racing in

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