Australians Jason Akers and Brandon Linton have been chosen to build the boat in which GBR Challenge will contest the Louis Vuitton challenger series

Two Australian boatbuilders, Jason Akers and Brandon Linton have been selected to build GBR Challenge ACC raceboat. Construction is due to start this November and launch is scheduled for April next year.

Their selection was largely down to their experience. They have been working together for seven years and built oneAustralia ’95 (the one that didn’t sink) and the two Abracadabra 2000 boats campaigned in Auckland by John Kolius.

“We’re really excited to be involved in the GBR Challenge,” said Akers. “We’re endeavouring to tap into the local boat building talent, especially in the Cowes region. We’re looking forward to sharing our experience with them and hope to work with them in a British America’s Cup campaign in the future.”

A boatbuild manager will be appointed to count beans and keep everything on schedule and will also create a database of build information for use by future British America’s Cup challenges.

Linton and Akers will be based in Cowes and working with a team of 20 scattered about the Isle of Wight and Southampton. Along with the build manager, there is the responsibility for producing a competitive but safe boat ready for use by the sailing team when they get back from sail training in Auckland in April 2001. GBR Challenge general manager David Barnes was delighted with the appointment. “It’s great that Jason and Brandon have joined the team, they’re a talented pair who I’m sure will do a great job with the new ACC yacht. They have a lot of previous experience in building this type of yacht and will be a strong asset to the team.”

Akers and Linton have been part of a team of six tank testing the GBR Challenge design. In readiness for the build process, one of GBR Challenge’s many sheds is being converted into a boatyard with a new 100ft autoclave, including vacuum tables for laying up and a plethora of tooling machinery.

Here are the six stages in building the boat:

  • Mould, tooling construction for hull, deck and components
  • Laminating hull, deck and components using carbon fibre pre-press and honeycomb cores, cooked at 100 degrees
  • Vacuum consolidating using SP Systems as the composite suppliers to GBR Challenge
  • Construction of the yacht, including fitting and laminating the structure, fairing, painting, fitting the deck and winch systems
  • Fitting boat and keel
  • Measuring the boat to keep in accordance with ACC rules and their measures