Aussie entries for Antarctica Cup

The round the world one design race gains more momentum

Thursday August 1st 2002, Author: John Roberson, Location: Australasia
A team from Western Australia have reserved their place on the starting line of the Antarctica Cup, the US $6.4 million maxi-yacht race through the Southern Ocean, that starts and finishes in Fremantle.

Led by locally based, international business man Mark Rodoreda, the team are already in negotiations with a number of Western Australia's top sailors, and are very optimistic about support from the local business community.

Rodoreda was very enthusiastic about the home town entry, saying "we have so many great sailors in W.A., and they have to go overseas to get their international competition.

"It's going to be great to give them a chance to sail for W.A. in a major international race that starts and finishes in Fremantle."

Mark himself comes from a family with a long history of offshore sailing in Western Australia, and competed at international level back in the eighties, including five years on the Bob Williams' pocket maxi Freight Train, and as a trialist for the Australia II crew in '83.

In his business he is used to working with some of the world's best known sportsmen, Mark is an international consultant on turfgrass and horticultural matters, related to construction and design of golf courses and sportsfields.

His clients include most of the more prominent course architects such as Greg Norman, Graham Marsh, Gary Player and their design companies.

Bob Williams, the chairman of the Antarctica Cup, was clearly delighted that Western Australia was putting up an entry, and threw down the gauntlet to sailors from the east coast of the country.

"The Victorians are in, with Grant Wharington," he said, "and now Western Australia has an entry, what about the guys from Sydney and the rest of New South Wales, where are they?"

Talking about Mark Rodoreda, Williams added, "I can't think of anyone in W.A. more suited to take on this adventure, because Mark has such a long history of offshore racing, he could be regarded as one of the most respected veterans of Western Australian offshore racing."

One of Mark's other passions is flying, and he has held a recreational private pilot's licence for 25 years, with an advanced aerobatic endorsement, now the idea for the Antarctica Cup has sparked his imagination, and he wants to go and push the limits through the Southern Ocean.

The Antarctica Cup, which is scheduled to start in December 2004, will be raced in a fleet of up to fifteen 82 foot maxi turbo-sleds, and has already attracted entries from the United States, England, the Netherlands and Australia.

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