TeamOrigin at the Easter Challenge

Sir Keith Mills' America's Cup to sail their first regatta on home waters

Thursday April 1st 2010, Author: Leslie Greenhalgh, Location: United Kingdom

What a difference a few weeks can make – just over 10 days ago, TeamOrigin were racing in the warm and sunny waters of the Hauraki Gulf for the Louis Vuitton Auckland regatta and yesterday the team were to be found on the High Street of Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK – battling against the driving rain and 40 knot winds...

TeamOrigin are in the UK for the RORC Easter Challenge where racing is due to take place from Friday 2 April until Sunday 4 April. The event marks the first inshore regatta of a very busy season in the Solent. There is a strong line-up with seven races planned over tight courses and around 50 crews planning to take part. The forecast looks set to provide challenging conditions for the teams, especially so early in the season which should deliver exciting racing conditions.

This is actually the first time TeamOrigin will race on home waters, their previous racing events having been in Auckland, Valencia, Nice and Auckland again. The team are racing on board Charles Dunstone’s TP52 Rio, Dunstone is a supporter of TeamOrigin and has carried the team’s branding onboard his own boat for some time now.

Mike Sanderson, Team Director, commented on this weekend’s event: “2010 has been such an exciting year for TeamOrigin already with the 33rd America’s Cup finally being resolved, the continuation of the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas around the world and on top of that we have our brand new Juan K-designed TP 52 ready for the Audi MedCup circuit. So what a better way to start off our training programme than to sail on our home waters in the RORC Easter Challenge. The regatta is famous for getting a full mixture of conditions and what a huge bonus it will be to have Jim Saltonstall in the coach boat keeping an eye on us. Jim has been such a huge influence on the careers of Ben, Iain and Andrew in particular and knowing that he is watching I think will keep our boat very honest this weekend.”

Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Helmsman, added his thoughts, “It is great for all of the team do some racing at home, all of us have grown up competing in regattas in the Solent. TeamOrigin’s name came from the concept of where the Cup all started, racing around the Isle of Wight, so it is a bit special. We have just launched a new TP52 for the Audi MedCup series and, as a sailing team , we have not had much experience in the class. The RORC Easter Challenge gives us a chance to get a feel for the boat, sort out our crew manoeuvres, get the team together and have a good time racing in the UK."

The TeamOrigin race team line-up for this event is:

Matt Cornwell GBR Bow
Julian Cressant FRA Mid-bow/Mast
Chris Brittle GBR Grinder
Christian Kamp DEN Trimmer
Andy Hemmings GBR Trimmer
Nice Bice AUS Pit
Chris Mason GBR Main
Andrew Simpson GBR Strategist
Ian Moore GBR Navigator
Iain Percy GBR Tactician
Ben Ainslie GBR Skipper/Helmsman
Mike Sanderson NZL Team Director/Runners

Supported by:

Richie O’Farrell, Rio Boat Captain
Kelvin Harrap, Afterguard Coach
James Stagg, Crew Coach
Stevie Erickson, Sailing Team Manager
David Carr, Back-up grinder
Martin Oliver, Sail maker
Juan Garay, Sail designer
Charlotte Harmer, PA and Shore support
Leslie Greenhalgh, Media/Communications

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