GBR Challenge General Manager David Barnes has hit back against allegations that GBR Challenge had breached Cup protocol by buying the 2000 Nippon Challenge lock, stock and barrel
As the America’s Cup rumour mill begins to spin, allegations of wrong-doing and litigious skullduggery abound. The latest syndicate to find itself in the ‘dock’ is GBR Challenge. It has been suggested that Peter Harrison broke America’s Cup protocol when he bought three boats, several containers of gear and the services of Nippon’s Japanese designers.
The clause that has allegedly been breached states that syndicates are forbidden from buying “plans, specifications and design information” from another syndicate. The spirit of this clause intends to prevent the sharing of information and technical specifications between syndicates, ensuring each syndicate’s challenge is entirely independent of any other.
GBR Challenge General Manager David Barnes scotched the rumours by pointing out that the purchase of the Nippon syndicate was simply a starting point for GBR Challenge. “We specifically acquired the assets,” Barnes told the New Zealand Herald, “but none of the design information – you are not allowed to.”
Barnes made it clear that probity was a cornerstone of GBR Challenge’s campaign, as shown by their immediate shopping of the former OneWorld crewmember touting design secrets. According to Barnes, “Peter has always said, ‘I don’t want to put all this money into a campaign and fall before the first hurdle’.”