Antarctica Cup - first signings

Rock stars sign up for the lap of the Southern Ocean

Wednesday May 8th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Paul Cayard, Roy Heiner and Grant Wharington (owner of the maxi Wild Thing) have been the first to book their places in the Antarctica Cup, with another American group wishing to remain anonymous at the moment.

Cayard faxed his Race Slot Reservation Form to the Royal Perth Yacht Club earlier this week. "Personally I like sailing down there, in the Southern Ocean. It's just the most awesome sailing that you can do," commented the America's Cup skipper and Whitbread winner. "I think it's an innovative format, with the different legs, and accummulation of points or prize-money along the individual legs, as well as an overall winner, I think that will add a lot of excitement into the race."

Australian Grant Wharington, who has been a regular Sydney to Hobart race competitor and winner of the double-handed Melbourne to Osaka race and who most recently crewed in the Volvo Ocean Race will head the first Australian team. "I think the concept has very, very carefully been thought out, and I think full credit to the team of guys that have put it together," commented Wharington.

Entries are also anticipated in the near future from Brazil, Ireland, Japan and England, with keen interest registered from New Zealand, France, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.

The Antarctica Cup is scheduled to start from Fremantle in December 2004, the Antarctica Cup is a non-stop race around the Southern Ocean, leaving the three great capes, Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope to port.

The race will be sailed in a fleet of identical Ron Holland designed 82 foot yachts, for a total prize purse of US$6.4 million.

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