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GBR Challenge Faces Experienced Test


GBR Challenge Faces Experienced Test

11th November 2002. Tomorrow is the start of the Louis Vuitton cup quarter-finals, with GBR Challenge up against Stars & Stripes (USA) in a best of seven series. The match pits the British newcomers against the most experienced America’s Cup team in the world, led by four-time winner Dennis Conner.

Whilst there are several similarities between the teams in terms of budget, and relative size, the syndicates are poles apart in terms of age and experience. Conner’s team was formed 18 years ago, whilst Harrison’s launched publicly in January 2001. Out of the 16 sailors that GBR Challenge are likely to line up against, all have previous experience of the competition with eight having won the America’s Cup.

Despite the fact that the average age of the British team is 29, nine years younger than Stars & Stripes, GBR Challenge lists six Olympic medals compared to the Americans’ one. Whilst Harrison’s young team lacks experience at this level, there is no shortage of talent.

For the Quarter Finals, GBR Challenge will line up in GBR 70. Founder & Chairman Peter Harrison explained rationale for the selection. “

“Given the conditions in the break period, we’ve not been able to sail GBR78 as much as we would have liked in the full range of conditions. Whilst GBR 78 has enormous potential, GBR 70 represents a known entity at this stage. The crew are very comfortable sailing Wight Lightning and we’ve made further changes that we’re happy with.”

“We have beaten Stars & Stripes once using Wight Lightning, and have narrowly lost once. It will be tough, however I am confident that we have the boat and team to progress to the next stage.”

A Comparison between GBR Challenge and Stars & Stripes

The Quarter Final match between GBR Challenge and Stars & Stripes pits one of the least experienced America’s Cup teams left at this stage of the competition against the team with the most experience.

In the entire Stars & Stripes team, 30 people have America’s Cup experience, 10 of whom have been part of winning campaigns.

In the entire GBR Challenge team 12 people have experience of the Louis Vuitton Cup or America’s Cup, none of whom have been part of winning campaigns.


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