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27 August 2002, 01:32 pm
Final Farewell
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Jan Stenbeck

Memorial Service for Jan Stenbeck

Tenders from all the syndicates arrived to form a parade outside the Victory Challenge base. The Swedish challenge crewmembers were lined up. America's Cup took a final farewell to Jan Stenbeck at a memorial service this morning.
Tenders from all the challenger syndicates and defender Team New Zealand solemnly approached the Victory Challenge base at 0820. Representatives from the syndicates stood in their boats ten minutes later when Bruno Troublé, representative of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the challenger series starting on October 1, began the memorial service. Mats Johansson, project leader for Victory Challenge then spoke. Ross Blackman represented Team New Zealand and the 2003 America's Cup; Dyer Jones was there on behalf of CORM, the challenger organisation.

The short eulogies repeated condolences to Jan Stenbeck's family and the Victory Challenge team. Mats Johansson also gave the following message:

"This base, those boats, this team, all is here because of Jan Stenbeck's vision. He wanted to make a competitive challenge for the America's Cup. He provided us with everything we needed, including his confidence in us. Therefore - not for one single moment, not even in our deepest sorrow after his tragic death - has it occurred to us that we had a choice.

"There is only one course for us to take - and that's to fulfil Jan Stenbeck's dreams. Humbly we will enter this most fantastic regatta. Every day we will do it with him in mind, forever proud and thankful."

The Rev. Tony Ross from the Anglican Church finished with a blessing and called for a two-minute silence that was followed by the sounds of the horns from all the boats in Viaduct Harbour where the America's Cup syndicates have their bases.

Bert Willborg/Victory Challenge/News Editor
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