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18 February 2005, 09:29 am
Victory Challenge Approved
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America's Cup 2007
Sweden

Gamla Stans Yacht Club have announced that Victory Challenge is the seventh syndicate to have its challenge approved for the next America's Cup. This will be the fifth Swedish challenger in history and for Victory Challenge the second in succession.
Victory Challenge is representing Gamla Stans Yacht Club, which was approved by the defending yacht club Société Nautique Genève prior to the initial deadline of 17 December 2004.

Gamla Stans Yacht Club has asked Victory Challenge to acquire the necessary sponsorship, instigate the design of a race yacht for the 2007 America's Cup and to recruit the crew and other members of the team.

Today's announcement took place at a press breakfast held by Gamla Stans Yacht Club at the club headquarters in Skeppsbrokajen, Stockholm, at the same time as the holders of the 32nd America's Cup, AC Management, issued their press release from Valencia, where the next edition of the world's most prestigious sailing regatta will be decided.

Victory Challenge was founded by media and telecom entrepreneur Jan STENBECK ahead of the America's Cup held in Auckland 2003. He passed away suddenly just before racing started but the syndicate still completed the competition in honour of his memory and in respect for his dreams and visions. His son Hugo STENBECK joined Victory Challenge and the management of the syndicate.

Victory Challenge won 11 matches - more than any other Swedish syndicate had done before. In the quarterfinals they knocked out the French syndicate Le Défi Areva. Victory Challenge finished in fifth place after being defeated by America's Cup finalists from 2000, the Italian syndicate Prada, in the next round as they battled for a place in the semi-finals.

'We are very enthusiastic that Victory Challenge will be battling for the America's Cup in our home continent of Europe', says Christer SALÉN, Chairman of GSYC.

'We have a strong foundation on which to build from our success in Auckland and I'm looking forward to the team competing again for the first time in Valencia in June. Of course I'm also more than happy to be competing in the act being held in Sweden at Malmö in August this year. This will be the first time the most spectacular of all regattas with its fantastic yachts will be held in Sweden.

Victory Challenge will start their sailing in the acts in Valencia in June together with at least seven other challengers plus the Swiss defenders, Alinghi. The act after that will be held in Malmö, Sweden, in August/September with the final act of the year being held in Trapani, Sicilien in September/October.

Experience is one of the most important ingredients in a successful America's Cup challenge. Both the boats built for the latest America's Cup, SWE-63 (Örn) and SWE-73 (Orm), will be used for the compulsory acts that are being held in 2005 and 2006. The two boats, designed by Mani Frers, are just as important for training and testing.

Victory Challenge, this time initiated by Hugo STENBECK, has the support of, among others, two companies in the Stenbeck group from the previous challenge; the media company Modern Times Group and the Tele2 telecom group.

The intention is to form a syndicate sponsored by companies that see the possibilities offered by the world's most prestigious sailing competition being held in Europe for the first time since 1851. They will be invited to take part in a sponsorship extending over three years and can take advantage of the enormous media impact that will be guaranteed internationally and which will be amplified even further in the countries where the Stenbeck group is active.

Bert Willborg (As Amended by ISAF)
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