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Images: Le Defi Areva In Auckland - Happy Sailing!

Press Release 15

Wednesday 28 August, 2002 - Auckland

LE DEFI AREVA - happy sailing!


FRA 69, FRA 79 & NZL 32 on the Speybank at the Jellicoe Warf - Copyright : DR/LE DEFI AREVA

The French Challenger to the America’s Cup has finally disembarked in Auckland, and with its two America’s Cup Class boats being unloaded at Jellicoe wharf today, LE DEFI AREVA team is eager to resume training.

“We are delighted to be back in Auckland for another crack at the America’s Cup”, says LE DEFI AREVA General Manager, Xavier de Lesquen.

“For the last three years, we have been building up to this event in Lorient, France – honing our designs, our skills and our mental toughness in preparation for the Louis Vuitton Cup 2003. 30,000 hours of research and development means that we will be racing the new French boat FRA-69 against the other Challengers in the series. We can’t wait”.

The French Challenger team has been refining their plan of attack for 2003 ever since the final of the last America’s Cup. Even as the outcome of the final race between Prada and Team New Zealand was being decided, LE DEFI AREVA’s Yaka design team were plotting together nearby. Since 2000, the team has come up with the FRA-69 and rebuilt the 2000 entrant, giving LE DEFI AREVA two impressive ACC boats.

LE DEFI AREVA has a bigger team this time around, bolstered by professional French sailors as well as others from around the world, including New Zealand. The commercial structure of the team and management is unchanged from the 2000 series. LE DEFI AREVA is a small but highly professional team with a comparatively small budget of $NZ50 million.

“We are one of the smallest Challengers in this series yet we are very determined. Like Team New Zealand, we are from a passionate nation of sailors. For the last year, we have had the privilege of training on ‘Black Magic’ and we are hoping that some of that ‘kiwi ingenuity’ has rubbed off on us. Sailing “Black Magic” certainly taught us a lot about why New Zealand has retained the America’s Cup in the last two series!

“This time, we are aiming to finish with a top four placing. It is the necessary step to go further next time. In the meantime, we are just happy to be in Auckland sailing”, says M. de Lesquen.

Xavier de Lesquen added that the team felt privileged to be personally welcomed by Greenpeace New Zealand.


FRA 69 in front of the Sky Tower - Copyright : DR/LE DEFI AREVA

LE DEFI AREVA pour l'America's Cup 2003 83, Halsey Street Auckland Central New Zealand

Contact presse PARIS Claire Métayer Tel : +33 (0)6 62 31 11 24 E-mail : cmetayer@ledefi.com

Contacts presse AUCKLAND

Julia Huvé E-mail : jhuve@ledefi.com

Emma Wilkinson ewilkinson@ledefi.com


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