Areva Challenge, has christened its new boat, FRA 93 in Valencia 29/11/06

 The French challenger for the 32nd America’s Cup, Areva Challenge, has christened its new boat, FRA 93 in Valencia.

With the late autumn weather still holding some of summer’s heat, the traditional Champagne bottle was smashed over the carbonfibre bow in front of a large crowd of 400 friends, family and supporters last Friday.

French actor and director Jean-Marc Barr had the honour of breaking the bottle over the bow after the team asked him to be the ‘godfather’ of the boat.

Commenting Barr said: “I have always been fascinated by sports, and the will to succeed and be the best. When I was asked to be the godfather of FRA 93, I was proud and enthusiastic with the idea to support, to encourage the French team for this competition which is long, difficult, but so beautiful. I wish lots of happiness and success to the team.”

Up to now Areva Challenge has been racing one of the oldest boats in the fleet, FRA 60, which Team New Zealand used to defend the 30th America’s Cup in 2000. The French team sits on equal seventh place in the Louis Vuitton Ranking for challengers, tied on points with 39 Challenge.