IACC boat is to be shipped to the UK to help generate interest in a future challenge

Richard Matthews, chairman of Oyster Yachts, has bought USA 37, American True’s work-up boat, a yacht which raced in the last Cup. Matthews was the 17th man on Dawn Riley’s America True on the first day of The Louis Vuitton semi-final racing at the weekend and made the announcement at a press conference that evening.

Inevitably, his announcement prompted questions about the UK’s future involvement in America’s Cup racing. Matthews told us that he planned to ship the boat to the UK and, after some strengthening work, will be sailing it in the Solent, specifically in the Round the Island Race and at Skandia Life Cowes Week.

An AC yacht sailing in the Solent will, he says, generate interest in a future UK challenge.

Richard Matthews sailed his yacht Oystercatcher across the Pacific to New Zealand this year.

Meanwhile, Jim Clark, chairman of Netscape and owner of superyacht Hyperion (currently berthed in the Cup Village) was 17th man on Stars and Stripes as they beat Prada, the favourite to be challenger, on day two of the semi-final. Fortunately they sailed a perfect race and had no gear failures.