'The 32nd America's Cup which will be held in Europe, in Valencia, after 153 years of absence will be one of the first major sailing competitions of the 21st century. It was thus normal that a French challenge takes part in this event with the support of the French Sailing Federation. The values carried by this team correspond to those that the Federation develops on a daily basis and we are delighted by this association, which I hope will allow them to achieve their goals,' said Jean-Pierre CHAMPION, President of the French Sailing Federation.
Stephan KANDLER, K-Challenge's CEO declared: 'It is with great pride that we will wear the colours of France in the 32nd America's Cup and it is an honour for the entire team. We also will be able to have important advantages in our preparation thanks to the French Sailing Federation.'
The support of the FFV confirms the serious intentions of K-Challenge. 'France has been represented in each competition of the America's Cup since 1970. Our teams were often handicapped in the Louis Vuitton Cup by a late start. For once, a French team, supported by the French Sailing Federation, gave itself the means to get ready very early, thus increasing in a considerable way its chances of success. They should be supported. They deserve it and they will not disappoint us! ', added Bruno TROUBLÉ of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Thanks to the collaboration with the FFV, K-Challenge's skipper, Thierry PEPONNET (FRA) and their afteguard, Sebastien COL (FRA) are from now on part of the French Match Racing Team. They will take part in many international races, which by regularly facing their counterparts from the other Challengers' teams, will enable them to train towards the various stages of the America's Cup. The FFV, within the framework of it's support, will place at the disposal of the K-Challenge team some of its technical experts from time to time who are Match Racing specialists.
PEPONNET said: 'It is with much satisfaction that I greet this partnership between the K-Challenge and the FFV. This enables me to remember my Olympic origins, the federal structure having played a key part in my sports results. Knowing the value of the technical experts placed at our disposal will be of a great help for us to achieve our goals.'
The FFV will accommodate the 'K-Challenge headquarters' in it's Paris buildings and the K-Challenge media centre throughout all official competitions of the 32nd America's Cup. The opening is planned for 15 June, in time for the start of Act 4 of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Since the end of October 2004, the K-Challenge team has been working at it's Gandia base just south of Valencia, Spain. The team actively continues it's training there to be as competitive as possible in the next Louis Vuitton Acts 4 and 5, which will take place in Valencia from the 16-26 June.
Each day the team works towards the implementation of the technical and sailing test programs, which were established beforehand by the development teams.
The two boat testing programme will begin in a few days, when FRA 60 (ex-NZL 60, winner of the America's Cup 2000), will join FRA 57 on the water (FRA 57 has already been put at the standards of the V5 rule since last March). FRA 60 will be christened during a grand ceremony on the 29 April on the Gandia base.
K-Challenge has added new team members as the two boat testing programme begins: Matt CORNWELL (America' s Cup 2003 with GBR Challenge), Katie PETTIBONE (America's Cup in 1995 and 2000, Whitbread in 1998, Volvo Ocean Race in 2002), Glenn ATTRILL (several Fastnet races) and Herve CUNNINGHAM (World ISAF champion in J22 in 1998, Volvo Ocean Race in 2002, Oryx Cup in 2005) have just joined K-Challenge.