[Source: Team French Spirit] Team French Spirit will use her for its training program and compete during the multi-challengers regattas in Valencia in July 2009. “With this boat in the hands of Bertrand (Pacé) and Philippe (Presti), the French will be tough contenders and we are pleased to look forward for some common training sessions”, says Brad Butterworth, three times winner of the Cup.
A more positive future
Registered since December 2007 under the burgee of the Yacht Club de Saint-Tropez, Team French Spirit, and the other 10 original challengers (12 including the Defender), has now been joined by 7 new candidates including Prada Challenge, a Russian team as well as a second French team. Missing is BMW Oracle who is pursuing its legal action, trying to force Defender Alinghi into a direct confrontation with a multi hull dog-match. The New York Court of Appeals is expected to issue its decision sometime by the end of February 2009.
“19 teams, from 12 nations : it’s more than the previous record (14 entries in 1987 in Perth, AUS). It certainly demonstrates that organising eliminatory races in a similar way to the Louis Vuitton series is the right method for ACM to select the one going to challenge the Defender” comments Marc Pajot (twice in the semi-finals).
“I regret that, given the current economic situation and despite our attempts to unify our efforts, K-Challenge has chosen a different path. Our sole objective was and remains to see a French team competing successfully.
With the strong experience of our skipper Philippe Presti and helmsman Bertrand Pacé – they together total 9 participations to the Cup – and the support of the younger talented generation represented by Mathieu Richard – N°1 World Match Race ISAF 2008 – Team French Spirit is able to build a strong, efficient and experienced French crew.
Supported by a dozen founding members, Team French Spirit is now going to put more efforts to associate major partners and sponsors to its endeavor to bring home this prestigious trophy.”
A tight schedule
- AC management will issue the Protocol governing the 33rd AC within a few days.
- The new Measurement Rule for the new, lighter and faster, monohull Class America boat will be issued on January 31st, 2009. Only one boat per team as well as a set of additional restriction should enable to split previous budgets by half.
- For Team French Spirit, this means that construction of the new boat is due to start in June 2009.