iShares Cup opening event sees British team line-up with America's Cup and Olympic sailors 29/5/08

Team Origin sailors will take their Extreme 40 catamaran into battle for the first time this weekend in Lugano, Switzerland in the opening event of the iShares Cup regatta circuit. This will be the first competition to ever see a Team Origin branded boat line-up with another America’s Cup team.

Nine other racing teams including Alinghi, the Defender of the America’s Cup, will be competing in Lugano. Amongst the nine are some of the very best skippers and crews in the sport from the America’s Cup sailors to Olympic medalists, ocean racers, and world champions.

Team Origin’s entry will be skippered by Robert Greenhalgh, who last year skippered Team Basilica, the 2007 iShares Cup Champion. The other three crewmembers from Team Origin joining Rob are his brother, Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) as mainsheet trimmer /tactician, Julian Cressant (FRA) as trimmer, Matt Cornwell (GBR) as bowman and Mike Heffer (NZL) and David Duff (NZL) as shore support.

“We are really looking forward to our first event in the iShares Cup this weekend. We have been training with our boat in the Solent for several weeks and are really eager to see how we match up with the opposition. It will be fun to be racing for real again. We have plenty of competition here, some from last year and some new entries, and I think the Circuit will provide more action, racing contest and drama this year than last,” commented Rob.

One of the many interesting features of the iShares Cup regatta circuit is the obligation of each team to take a “fifth-man” observer on board for each race. Team Origin founder and principal backer Sir Keith Mills will sail on Saturday and Sunday as fifth-man.