Peter Harrison has announced the sailors he has chosen to represent GBR Challenge at the first two events on the Swedish Match tour.

Peter Harrison has announced the sailors he has chosen to represent GBR Challenge at the first two events on the Swedish Match tour, starting with the Steinlager/Line 7 Cup to be held in Auckland from 12-17 March.

Andy Beadsworth, Andy Green, Nick Pearson, Richard Sydenham and Jim Turner will form the crew that competes in Auckland before heading to Perth to sail in the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup from 21-25 March. Andy Green will helm in New Zealand, with Andy Beadsworth taking over for Australia.

For this project, Harrison’s team will be sponsored by Colorcraft, a Hong Kong printing company. Colorcraft has supported Andy Green’s Match Racing Team for the last three years and sponsor the Colorcraft Gold Cup in Bermuda.

Peter Harrison, Chairman and Chief Executive of GBR Challenge commented: “We have a combination of sailors taking part, who I believe will gain fantastic experience from the Swedish Match Tour and ultimately benefit the GBR Challenge.”

Bundy Walker, Chairman of Colorcraft added: “It is a great pleasure to transfer our allegiance solely from the British Racing Green Team to Peter Harrison’s GBR Challenge.” David Barnes, General Manager of GBR Challenge explained the importance of the competitive match racing to the syndicate. “All the top match race skippers compete in the Swedish Match tour, enabling our sailors to be exposed to many races with high class competitors. Competition at this level of match racing is essential for our sailors to understand the interpretation of the rules and be familiar with the latest techniques.

“To be competing at this level means our team will know the opposition well and therefore will be comfortable with racing the world best sailors anytime.”

Barnes was clear that, although the circuit is important, it is not necessarily a guide to America’s Cup form.

“While most events use smaller boats and have little comparison with sailing an IACC class yacht, similar moves and techniques generally apply. It is important for our team to learn to race the IACC class to understand the specific characteristics for this class.”

Andy Green, who won the Colorcraft Gold Cup in 1999 and is currently ranked number eight in the world, commented: “This is a new crew, so our aim is to knit together in a team environment and maintain a top 10 ranking throughout the year.”

Beadsworth, winner of two grade one match racing events is also looking forward to the start of the tour. “The tour will give us the perfect opportunity to develop as a unit, in the same way that Team New Zealand did with such success.”

The Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour comprises eight of the world’s leading professional sailing events. In addition to over USD$400,000 in individual event prize money, the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour awards USD$200,000 to the top eight sailors on the tour. The overall winners are determined by a point system based on a sailor’s best six of eight finishes, with the first-place skipper netting USD$60,000.