A select few of Peter Harrison’s GBR Challenge squad will be racing today against three other 1995-vintage ACC boats at the Qantas America Classic Cup

The latest hurdle in the ongoing development of GBR Challenge is the Qantas America Classic regatta, held off Yarmouth and organised by the Royal Solent Yacht Club. The fleet will contest one race per day, starting at 1000, conditions permitting, and the regatta finishes on Sunday.

GBR Challenge will be campaigning GBR-41, formerly Nippon, their 1995 vintage ACC boat, against John Caulcutt’s slippy High Voltage, formerly Tag Heuer, and France 2 and France 3, both now owned by Sunsail and fitted with roller reefing headsails. Don Wood’s 12m Italia will provide an added attraction for AC fans.

Ian Walker, GBR Challenge’s sailing manager, explained their entry: “We are delighted the Royal Solent Yacht Club is hosting the first ever America’s Cup Class Regatta in the UK. We will be sailing GBR-41 our ’95 generation boat as we need to prepare that for the Jubilee regatta in August. It will be good to practice fleet starts and good for the guys to get into the routine of racing.”

With Olympic rower Greg Searle and former rower Ian Weighell manning the handles, they will not want for power. Both are new to sail racing however, and this event will hopefully provide both men with their first taste of competition at the highest level.

The GBR Challenge team will be as follows:Nik Pearson – BowMark Sheffield – Mid-bowGeorge Skuodas – MastCraig Nutter – PitWill I’Anson – Pit runnerMal Parker – TrimRich Sydenham – TrimIan Weighell – GrindGreg Searle – GrindJames Lyne – Mid-grindDavid Carr – RunnerChris Mason – MainsheetMo Gray – Aft grinderAndy Beadsworth – HelmJulian Salter – Navigator/Skipper