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Frenchman with Cup experience to Victory Challeng

Frenchman with America’s Cup experience to Victory Challenge

(18 September 2006, Valencia) He is the only Frenchman in Victory Challenge’s sailing team. He has great experience of match racing, has previously participated in the America’s Cup and is one of the most experienced trimmers in the world of professional sailing. Thierry Fouchier, 40, is another recruitment for the two-boat training that has just begun.

“I’m impressed by how focussed everybody is. Everything that is done is aimed at being better and better,” he says.

For the last four years Thierry Fouchier has, among other things, sailed trimarans, as trimmer on Groupama in what is now known as the Multi Cup 60’. They have dominated the Grand Prix competitions and won the 2004 World Championships.

He has also participated in a number of competitions in the World Match Racing Tour, with skippers like Philippe Presti and Peter Gilmour, but primarily with Bertrand Pacé. They won what was then called the Swedish Match Tour in 2000 (Magnus Holmberg won in 2001).

“Thierry has extensive knowledge of match racing, has experience of the America’s Cup, is also very wide-ranging as a trimmer, whether it’s the mainsail, spinnaker or genoa and, because he has also worked with our sail designer Laurent Delage, we expect that he will be an asset when it comes to sail development,” says Magnus Holmberg, skipper and helmsman for Victory Challenge.

“As a talented trimmer with his extensive experience he can provide valuable contributions to the development of both sails and battens. I know because I have sailed a lot with him myself on a number of different boats,” says sail designer Laurent Delage, himself a Frenchman.

Thierry Fouchier has been a professional sailor since 1994. His first involvement in the America’s Cup was in 1995, with Défi France which was to participate with Harmonie FRA 40. However the boatbuilding and challenge were interrupted due to financial reasons.

It turned out to be Le Défi Français 2000, with Bertrand Pacé as skipper. Thierry Fouchier was mainsail trimmer for 6eme Sens. They reached the semi-finals.

He also sailed with K-Challenge (now Areva Challenge) in the autumn of 2003, when a number of America’s Cup boats met in San Francisco. However, this is the first time he has been signed up for the 32nd America’s Cup.

“I was attracted by Victory Challenge, because I both get to sail and to take part in sail development,” says Thierry Fouchier.

He is the only French sailor, but not the only Frenchman on the team. With Thierry Fouchier there is now a total of six French nationals in Victory Challenge, of which three are on the sail team, one in the boat design team and one in the electronics team.

In total, 13 new sailors have now joined Victory Challenge during the last four months. Seven of them have previous America’s Cup experience, of which four also have experience from the most recent Volvo Ocean Race. Another five took part in the most recent round the world race.

With the two-boat training the next phase has begun for the team, ahead of next year’s final pre-regattas of the 32nd America’s Cup and the challengers’ series itself, the Louis Vuitton Cup. It is then that it will finally be decided which of the eleven challengers will meet the defender, Alinghi, in the America’s Cup Match.

Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 13 takes place between 3 and 7 April, the Louis Vuitton Cup between 16 April and 12 June. The America’s Cup Match begins on 23 June.

Victory Challenge’s main partners for the 32nd America’s Cup are Tele2, Red Bull and MTG. Metro, Viasat and Bet24 are media partners. Sail Racing, LIROS Yacht Ropes, Sebago and OM Pimespo Ibercarretillas are official suppliers.


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