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22 December 2004, 11:14 am
'El Reto' Becomes Eighth Challenger
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2007 America's Cup
Valencia

The El Reto syndicate, representing the Real Federación Española de Vela - Spanish Sailing Federation, has become the eighth challenger for the 32nd America's Cup. The Société Nautique de Genève, the Defender of the America's Cup, accepted the Spanish Challenge on the 17th December.

El Reto, which is Spanish for 'The Challenge' will be Spain's fourth challenge for the America's Cup. On three previous occasions Spanish yachts have raced in the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Series for the America's Cup - in 1992 and 1995 in San Diego and in 1999 in Auckland.

The El Reto syndicate is a new team headed by Agustín Zulueta, a well known racing yacht project manager in Spain. Zulueta said: 'With the 32nd America's Cup taking place in Spain all the elements are ready for us to mount a competitive Spanish Challenge. Our objectives now are to get structured with our team and main sponsor Iberdrola, to organise boats so that we will be ready to race competitively next June during the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts and to develop our long term strategy for the Louis Vuitton Cup and 32nd America's Cup in 2007. We have a lot of work to do!'

Michel Bonnefous, president of AC Management: 'We are delighted to have a Spanish challenger. This is a very positive step for the success of the 32nd America's Cup. With the Louis Vuitton Cup and the Match in Valencia, Spain and a strong 'Domestic Team' in El Reto the America's Cup's values will be naturally communicated to a much wider Spanish audience.'

The current line-up of challengers that will do battle over the next three years for the right to meet Alinghi in the 32nd America's Cup Match are:

BMW ORACLE Racing, USA
+39 Challenge, ITA
Team Shosholoza, RSA
Emirates Team New Zealand, NZL
Luna Rossa Challenge, ITA
K-Challenge, FRA
The 7th challenger, accepted 17th December, identity to be revealed in January
El Reto, ESP

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