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30 March 2001, 07:14 pm
Japanese Boats Arrive
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The Japanese Boats Arrive © Mark Pepper

British America's Cup Challenge

The GBR Challenge have transferred the main assets of the former Nippon Challenge to their base in Cowes.
The three International America's Cup Class yachts (two 2000 generation and one 1995 generation), four masts, seven sea freight containers and four RIBs were all unloaded today from the container ship that left Tokyo two months ago and arrived in Southampton last night.

Bright conditions and a windless morning enabled the project to get off to a smooth start. Six of the containers, the masts and the RIBs were transferred onto a barge and towed by a tug up the Medina River into the syndicate's base in West Cowes. The IACC boats were unloaded onto the dock in Southampton where their rudders were fitted before they were towed to join the containers in the GBR Challenge base.

At the start of the day the IACC boats were lifted off with counter weights inside the bows to compensate for the lack of rig to enable the yachts to be balanced whilst being craned. The next stage of the operation also went without a hitch as the barge easily made the 15.30 deadline to arrive at the base prior to high water.

By the end of the day, both of the 2000 generation IACC yachts and six of the sea freight containers were in Cowes.

Syndicate boss, Peter Harrison, who was in Southampton Docks to see the boats arrive yesterday and travelled with the tug across the Solent commented, "It's thrilling to see these boats arrive in the UK. We have been planning this day for nearly six months and from here we can now move into the next phase of preparation for the America's Cup when the GBR Challenge Sailing Team will commence the sailing programme. I also congratulate our Shore Team for managing a potentially difficult transfer to our base so efficiently and without incident."
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