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8 May 2002, 11:20 am
French Launch New Boat FRA-69
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Americas Cup

The next syndicate to unveil its new boat will be Le Défi Areva. Yesterday, FRA-69, the newest French boat left the Multiplast boatyard of Vannes by truck and was berthed on a trailer directly in the Lorient Base.

In the following days, it will be finished to be officially launched and shown to the public.If all goes according to plan, a private christening ceremony for the yacht, which will represent France when preliminary races for the next Cup regatta begin in New Zealand in October, is scheduled for 17 May.

After the official launch, the festivities will be continued on the Saturday. On the water, a procession will be organised by the CNL (Cercle Nautique de Lorient), will begin at 3pm in front of the City. Le Défi Areva said the procession should take about an hour, and a lot of french supporters are expected to take part the first outing.

At 4pm, a supporter club based in Lorient will be officialy launched. "You can to be registered in this club and to sign yours encouragements on a white spinnaker which we offered to the CNL. This sail will be carried by the sailors in Auckland"."It is significant for us to feel the support of the population", explained Le Défi's spokesmen.

Those on the move in the city after 6pm might have seen the new boat as it sailed in the Lorient outer harbour. The sailors were available to the public, to speak about the challenge and to sign autographs.The festivities continued on till late at night with animations, concerts, all taking place on the Lorient dock, open to all the fans and the entire Sailing community.
Hauraki News/News Editor
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