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4 January 2007, 12:04 pm
New British Sailing Team Sets Sights On Cup Glory
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America's Cup
London, Great Britain

Sir Keith MILLS, the British businessman who ran London's victorious bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, has announced he is to create a new British America's Cup sailing team. The team, to be named ORIGIN, will comprise some of the world's leading sailors and boat designers from Great Britain and beyond.
ORIGIN will come together the aim of winning the America's Cup and bringing the world's longest running sporting event back to British shores for the first time since its inception over 150 years ago.

Minimum Of Two Campaigns

At today's announcement at the Design Museum in London, MILLS revealed that ORIGIN will participate in at least two America's Cup campaigns - the 33rd and 34th editions of the America's Cup, likely to take place in 2009 and 2011 respectively. ORIGIN's crew members, boat designers and management teams will be recruited over the next six months, and will be announced following the completion of the current 32nd America's Cup event taking place in Valencia, Spain from 23 June-7 July 2007.

ORIGIN, whose name is a reference both to Britain's involvement in the creation of the America's Cup in 1851 and to the formation of a new, fresh and innovative force in this sporting arena, is being formed by MILLS to build on Britain's yachting heritage. It follows in the wake of recent successes enjoyed by Skandia Team GBR, the British Olympic and Paralympic sailing team, which has won more medals for Britain than any other sport in the last two Olympic Games, and the achievements of Britain's numerous round-the-world ocean racing heroes.

ORIGIN will be based in Great Britain, bringing valuable economic impact to the local area that is chosen to host the team. The venue for the team's base will be selected for its facilities, sailing conditions and communications links. The base, together with the yacht club that the team will represent, will be decided in the next six months.

The team will be funded through a combination of private and commercial investment. With the substantial growth of the event in recent years from a media, marketing, hospitality and fan base point of view, sponsorship of the team represents a unique marketing opportunity for international companies trying to reach a global audience. ORIGIN's commercial team will commence discussions and negotiations with potential investors and sponsors during the coming months.

'Open For Business'

MILLS, Team Principal of ORIGIN, commented, 'We intend to build a team capable of winning the America's Cup to ultimately bring the Cup back to Britain for the first time since 1851. Britain is the world's leading sailing nation and we hope this is the dawn of an exciting venture that will create sporting history.

'The reason that we have announced our launch today is that there is much to be done while the current 32nd America's Cup competition is underway. We will be contracting team members, establishing our UK base, acquiring the necessary assets and discussing the opportunity with prospective syndicate members and sponsors. In essence, we are officially 'open for business!'

Rod CARR, Chief Executive of the Royal Yachting Association, commented, 'British sailing has never been more successful than it is today. We are the world's strongest sailing nation, our Olympic medal count is higher than any other British sport, whilst ocean racing heroes such as Dame Ellen MACARTHUR and Dee CAFFARI have ruled the waves. In my view there are three peaks in competitive racing. Britain has already scaled the heights in the Olympic and offshore arena and I believe we have the talent and expertise to create a winning America's Cup team.'

BONNEFOUS Welcomes British Challenge

Michel BONNEFOUS, CEO of America's Cup Management, said, 'Having a British challenge for the 33rd America's Cup is fantastic news. Britain is where the oldest sports trophy begun and it goes without saying that the UK is well known for being a great sailing nation. I wish good luck to Sir Keith and to his team for this fantastic project.'

Richard CABORN MP, Britain's Minister for Sport, commented, 'The America's Cup is one of the most prestigious sporting spectacles in the world, and having a British team in the event is an ideal way to promote the UK's talents on the seas. With the recent worldwide success of our elite sailors and increased participation at all levels I am delighted to see a British team take on the Challenge of the America's Cup.'The America's Cup is an arena where British excellence in technology, management and design can be demonstrated to a global audience. Sir Keith is a leader who has proved he can create winning teams, both in business and in sport. We wish him and his team fair winds in this exciting new venture.'

The America's Cup Match and Challenger/Defender Series are designated as ISAF Special Events. For more information on the America's Cup, the Louis Vuttion Acts and the teams competing, visit the official America's Cup website - www.americascup.com.

For a complete list of all the news about the America's Cup 2007 CLICK HERE.

Kate Fairclough (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Sir Keith MILLS will lead the British bid for the America's Cup:© Origin
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