'We were extremely satisfied with Mani's work last time, and are really happy that he is onboard again, he is one of a kind and one of the very best in this business,' says Magnus HOLMBERG, sailing manager for Victory Challenge.
The signing was executed in a ceremony at Mani Frers naval architecture and engineering office in Milan, Italy, in the presence of among others, HOLMBERG, Hugo STENBECK, the initiator behind the challenge for 2007, Christer SALÉN, the commodore of Gamla Stans Yacht Sällskap and Sam MURCH, the shore manager for Victory Challenge.
Mani FRERS is responsible for the design of the two race yachts for the America's Cup 2007 as well for the re-design of Örn and Orm to make them eligible for the participation in this year's pre regattas in Valencia, Spain, Malmö, Sweden and Trapani, Sicily.
The America's Cup Class has been changed since Auckland, and the new version allows more sail area, a lighter boat, but with deeper draft keel, providing the same stability as before. The result is a lighter, faster boat, 'turbo-charged' for the 32nd America's Cup.
'Even if we didn't sign until today, I have done my homework, so the re-building of the boats can start immediately,' said FRERS, adding: 'It was a pleasure working with Victory Challenge last time, and I'm happy there will be a second challenge. I look forward to it.'
Prior to his involvement with Victory Challenge, which started five years ago, FRERS was one of Prada's head designers of the boat which took the Italian syndicate to final in the America's Cup 2000.
The first time he was involved in the America's Cup was in 1992 when he worked for his father German FRERS Sr. who designed the Il Moro di Venezia yacht which became Italy´s first America's Cup finalist.
Victory Challenge was founded by media and telecom entrepreneur Jan STENBECK ahead of the America's Cup held in Auckland 2003. He passed away suddenly just before racing started but the syndicate still completed the competition in honour of his memory and in respect for his vision. His son Hugo STENBECK joined Victory Challenge and the management of the syndicate.
Victory Challenge won eleven matches - more than any other Swedish syndicate had done before. They finished in fifth place after being defeated by America's Cup finalists from 2000, the Italian syndicate Prada.
Victory Challenge will start sailing in the acts in Valencia in June together with at least eight other challengers plus the Swiss defenders, Alinghi. The acts after that will be held in Malmö, Sweden, in August/September with the final acts of the year being held in Trapani, Sicily in September/October.