Peter Harrison today announced a development that will ensure that GBR Challenge is well prepared for the next America's Cup cycle.
The British team is to build a second new hull within this America's Cup campaign, so that the team has two latest generation ACC yachts ready for training in Cowes during the summer of 2003. Harrison, who has always made clear that the GBR Challenge is being set up with future campaigns in mind, explained his rationale. "I have taken the decision to build a second hull this year, in order to secure a second sail number to the GBR 70 we already have, as each team is only allowed two hulls in each cup cycle. The building of a second hull will also ensure that the GBR Team has continuity and a flying start in possessing two of the latest generation America's Cup 2002 yachts ready to commence training for the next America's Cup competition anticipated in 2006."
However, the GBR Challenge Chairman stated that this decision does not mean that he has committed to backing the British entry in the future. "At this stage, I'm not prepared to commit myself to financially backing the GBR Challenge campaign for the next America's Cup. What I will have done is to put in place the requisite building blocks for continuity so that, whether it's myself leading the team or not, GBR Challenge will have the best possible foundations for success in the future." David Barnes outlined why Harrison and the team management have such faith in the new team. "The team are ahead of all of the goals that have been set for them so far, and have shown a high level of maturity and professionalism in all areas of the operation. We're delighted that Peter has given us this backing, to give us another of the latest generation ACC yachts. This move certainly sets us up well for the future."