Syndicate head Peter Harrison announces the crews that will represent GBR Challenge in this summer’s ACJ – the first time GBR Challenge will have raced ACC boats in anger against other Cup syndicates

GBR Challenge head Peter Harrison yesterday announced the crews of GBR Challenge’s two ACC boats – the 1995-vintage GBR-41 and the 2000-vintage GBR-52 – as Britain’s first Cup campaign in 13 years steps up another gear.

The two crews, listed below, will be competing against comparable boats with experienced Cup crews onboard and this should give GBR Challenge some very clear indicators of their progress to date. Among the boats they will be racing are Team New Zealand, here with their 1995 winner Black Magic and Prada’s 2000 finalist Luna Rossa.

“This is an important event for us as we’ll come up against America’s Cup syndicates for the first time ever in ACC yachts,” said sailing manager Ian Walker, named as helm of GBR-52. “It will provide a benchmark for us to measure how far we’ve come and should highlight the areas where we need to improve.

“We’ve selected two strong crews as we want to give ourselves the best chance of both of our yachts reaching the match racing stage of the competition.”

Joining GBR Challenge’s line up onboard GBR-41 will be Guy Barron, one of the team’s coaches and part of the Nippon afterguard in 1995, and Mark Heeley, helm of the fastest Farr 40 in Europe, GBR-25.

GBR-52 crewPeter Thomas – BowMark Sheffield – Mid bowGeorge Skuodas – MastJames Stagg – PitJonathon Taylor – Runner/pitGuy Reid – GrinderJim Lyne – GrinderChris main – MidgrinderSimon Fry – TrimmerIan Budgen – TrimmerAndy Green – Breeze monitor/travellerChris Mason – MainsheetAdrian Stead – TacticsJulian Salter – NavigatorBen Morrison-Jack – AftergrinderIan Walker – HelmGBR-41 crewNik Pearson – BowWill I’Anson – MidbowMo Gray – MastJim Turner – PitCraig Nutter – Runner/pitGreg Searle – GrinderIan Weighell – GrinderMark Covell – MidgrinderRichard Sydenham – TrimMal Parker – TrimGuy Barron – Breeze monitor/runnerNeal MacDonald – MainsheetMark Heeley – RunnersDerek Clark – TacticsDavid Carr – AftergrinderAndy Beadsworth – HelmFive of the crew (Andy Beadsworth, Ian Walker, Chris Main, Richard Sydenham and Mark Sheffield) will be match racing in Denmark on the first day of competition and they will be replaced by David Barnes, Andy Green (in turn replaced by Ian Lovering), David Carr (Matt Richardson), Toby Iles and Ed Danby.

To continue on to the match racing stage of the regatta, GBR Challenge will need to be one of the top four boats after the fleet racing. Looking at the following list, the Brits will need all their wits to get to the match racing rounds but just competing at this level will sharpen the team’s perspective.

Name – Entered by – ACC GenerationGBR-52 – GBR Challenge – 2000GBR41 – GBR Challenge – 1995Luna Rossa – Prada – 2000America 3/USA-23 – Bill Koch – 1992Il Moro/ITA-25 – Bill Koch – 1992France II/FRA33 – TBC – 1995France III/FRA-37 – Chris Gordon – 1995High Voltage/Il Moro IV – John Caulcutt – 1992Black Magic/NZL-32 – Team NZ – 1995