First team for Antarctica Cup

Plus ingenious national franchise scheme announced

Tuesday August 26th 2003, Author: Bob Williams, Location: United Kingdom
The organisers of the Antarctica Cup International Yacht Race today announced the signing of the first committed entrant for the inaugural race scheduled to start in Auckland, New Zealand, in February 2005.

The entrant is from Australia and is submitted by Team Challenge Australia.

This announcement coincides with Antarctica Cup announcing the introduction of a Country Franchise Owner program. The program allocates smaller populated maritime nations an exclusive license and larger populated nations a limited number of licenses providing an individual, syndicate, or corporation a unique opportunity to represent their nation in this nation versus nation event.

License holders will share in revenue streams created around the inaugural and future Antarctica Cup race regattas which have the potential to offset campaign costs. A major international bank is offering license holders funding programs for race entry fees, boat ownership and boat leasing.

Team Challenge Australia are the first to take up a Antarctica Cup Country Franchise license and in so doing will hold exclusive rights to represent Australia.

From Antarctica Cup Race Chairman Bob Williams commented: "we have been working with the Team Challenge Australia management team for several months and are extremely impressed with the manner in which they have structured their entry program. Our decision to grant Team Challenge Australia an exclusive franchise to represent Australia was made with the confidence that they will mount a world class effort to win the Antarctica Cup.

"As previously reported a New Zealand team have registered their intent to enter. We will now work closely with this team to assist them secure the necessary support in order to launch the Antarctica Cup. With Australia and New Zealand entered we can effectively hold the race to discover the Champions of the Great Southern Ocean in the ultimate grudge match between the two toughest sailing nations in the world.

"This is a big step forward in establishing the Antarctica Cup as a great nation versus nation event. We now look forward to welcoming challengers representing Italy, France, Great Britain, Japan, the USA and many other parts of the world through our exclusive Country Franchise Owner program."

Team Challenge Australia spokesman Jeremy Pearce said: "the purity of the Antarctica Cup event model is brilliant and the potential return on investment to our backers is very attractive. We are honoured to be able to represent Australia with our all-Australian crew in such a unique and challenging nation versus nation event."

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