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16 April 2002, 02:34 pm
illbruck Challenge Formally Withdraws From America|s Cup
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America's Cup

It would have been the first-ever German participation in the 151-year old America´s Cup, the oldest trophy in sport and also one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world.
illbruck Challenge, Germany's professional sailing team and current leader of the Volvo Ocean Race, is formally withdrawing its Challenge for America´s Cup XXXI effective today.

The illbruck Challenge and the Challenging yacht club of Duesseldorf Yacht Club notified the Challenger of Record Committee and Defender Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron today.

Despite intensive efforts to find a corporate sponsor, a commercial partner has not been found to finance the campaign, Michael Illbruck, 42, CEO of the international company illbruck GmbH and Chairman of the illbruck Challenge, announced today. "While it's disappointing that we can not keep the team together for the next America's Cup, we hope to find a long-term solution to challenge again some time in the future."

The decision to discontinue plans for the next America's Cup, which starts October 1 in Auckland, New Zealand with the Louis Vuitton Challenger Selection Series, in no way impacts the team's current successful participation in the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World 2001-2002, Illbruck said.

The illbruck Challenge is the overall race leader with four of the nine legs completed. The race, which finishes in Kiel June, 9 2002, is now in its sixth stage from Miami, Florida, USA to Baltimore, MD, USA.

The illbruck Challenge is a professional international sailing team and an extension of the illbruck-supported PINTA racing teams that over the past 30 years have earned success at many of the world's top regattas.

The illbruck Challenge was representing the Duesseldorf Yacht Club in Germany' s first-ever Challenge for the America's Cup, the competition for the oldest international trophy in sport.

illbruck GmbH is a privately held international company with core businesses in building systems and industrial services. Its autonomous business units include Sealant Systems, Bath Installation Technology, Architectural Surfaces, and Filtration Systems/Insulation Systems. Founded in 1952, the company is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany.

This German departure releases Base Number 10 in Viaduct Harbour and this has been taken over by the French Défi Areva. The French Team had given up its previous base further down 'Syndicate Row' after the last Cup due to the financial burden. This was quickly swallowed up by the Swiss syndicate's Mega-base which occupies the space from the Japanese and the French bases from 1999-2000.

But all is well for the French now and Le Défi Areva will be moving into a ready made base. The illbruck Challenge had already built and fitted out its base before it withdrew, all that remians for the French to do is change the signage on the outside and switch the lights on.
Jane Eagleson/Louis Vuitton Media/ISAF Secretariat
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