The crew selection is announced for the British big boat

The Chernikeeff British Team, which will represent Great Britain in next month’s Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup, the unofficial world championship of offshore yacht racing, today announces the crew selected to sail ‘Venture 99’, the newly built IMS 50 which will be the ‘big boat’ in the three yacht British Team.

The crew will be led by Peter Morton as Skipper with Lawrie Smith as helmsman, Ian Walker as Tactician, Steve Hayles as Navigator, Neal McDonald as Mainsail Trimmer, Andy Hemmings and Simon Fry as Headsail Trimmers, Guy Barron as Pitman and Crew Co-ordinator, Nic Clark as Grinder, George Skuodas as Mastman and James Stagg as Bowman, Jeremy Robinson will be alternate Helmsman and Duncan McDonald will be alternate Mainsail Trimmer. Keith McCullagh will sail on the boat as Owner.

Announcing the crew, Keith McCullagh, owner of ‘Venture 99’ and the yacht’s Campaign Director, said, “We are delighted to welcome Lawrie Smith to the Venture’99 Crew now that he is freed from his America’s Cup and Olympic commitments, and also Ian Walker, who has agreed to take a break from his ‘Star Class’ Olympic programme in order to join the ‘Venture 99’ campaign. We already had a strong team on ‘Venture 99’. With these two additions we now have a ‘big boat’ Crew for the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup which can compete on level terms with the best in the world. We look forward to an exciting competition in the 50ft IMS class which, judging by the strength of the other teams, is likely to be very tight.”

Harold Cudmore, Chairman of the Chernikeeff British Admiral’s Cup Team steering committee, commented “after extensive practise and racing this year, the three yachts in the Chernikeeff British Team are showing improved performance each week. As we move into the final weeks of preparation before the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup in July, each boat has strength in depth, with Ian Walker and Lawrie Smith on the 50; Chris Law, Graham Bailey and Team Caption Stephen Bailey on the 40 and Adrian Stead and Tim Power on the 36.”

‘Venture 99’ has just completed six days of practice racing and tuning in the Solent against some of their likely Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup competitors from the USA, Holland, Germany, Italy and Europe, successfully organised by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club. The yacht is currently undergoing small rating modifications prior to competing in the “Hoya Round the Island Race” next weekend.