Antarctica Cup - will it happen?


 
The Daily Sail gets the latest from Bob Williams, who conjured up the idea for this desirable 45 day non-stop blast through the Southern Ocean
Within the offshore yachting community at present there is a feeling of 'believe it when we see it' when it comes to the Antarctica Cup: another round the world (ish) yacht race in maxis, a 4.625 million Euros entry fee that includes the price of the boat, admittedly a great course (a loop of the Southern Ocean - "the longest non-stop fully crewed round the world race for monohulls"), big prize money to recoup costs... What many haven't counted on is the Bob Williams factor. "A determined old bugger" was how one colleague described Bob Williams (above), the man who is in the process of conjuring up the Antarctica Cup. He is certainly to be taken seriously. A successful building contractor based in Perth, Western Australia, Williams is best known in yachting circles as the owner of the Frers-designed pocket maxi Freight Train that he campaigned during the late 1970s and early 80s. He has also made forays into other areas of sport, notably as head of the Perth Wildcats professional basketball team, that he took from relative obscurity to being national champions in the course of just three years. Now he is again turning to boats. The Antarctica Cup was launched in April last year and Williams has been canny enough to realise that to make a venture like this succeed it is necessary to come up with an event format that will appeal to sailors, media and sponsors in equal measure. Williams also knows that a certain amount of flexibility is required to achieve this blend. "At the end of the day we can still have a race and as far as possible to have the race under the format we've been promoting. It is always flexible. We want to hold a race: If at the end of

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