Peter Harrison’s GBR Challenge is preparing for the Road to the America’s Cup Regatta, its first real test in the America’s Cup waters of Hauraki Gulf
Peter Harrison’s GBR Challenge is preparing for the Road to the America’s Cup Regatta, its first real test in the waters of Hauraki Gulf. The regatta starts on 10 February and runs until 17 February, by which time GBR Challenge will have tested its mettle against defenders Team New Zealand, Seattle’s OneWorld and Sweden’s Victory Challenge.
Sunday 10 February will be taken up by registration procedures but fleet racing will start on 11 February, continue onto 12 February before a lay day on 13 February. The two-day match racing stage of the regatta begins on 14 February before the final on the 17th.
“Whilst it’s only a practise regatta, it is another great opportunity for us to race our ACC boats against the other teams,” said GBR Challenge Sailing Manager Ian Walker. “It will provide a good focus for the sailing team and the entire organisation. It should also be good fun and make a break from training.”
“We will all be using our 2000 generation boats so not too much will be able to be read into form at this stage. In terms of the logistics, the regatta will provide us with a tougher test in some ways than the Louis Vuitton Cup, as we’ll have two boats in full race mode. However, it will help us to refine our systems for the Cup itself.”
When the regatta begins, GBR Challenge will be without the fulsome power of Olympic gold medal-winning rower Greg Searle. He fractured his elbow when his chain came off, jamming the back wheel while cycling from the team’s hotel to the base on America’s Cup Row. He should be back in six weeks’ time.