The Swedish Victory Challenge team returns after competing in Auckland in 2002

 Valencia, 18th February, 2004 – Sweden’s Victory Challenge today announced that it is the seventh team to have its challenge accepted for the 32nd America’s Cup. This marks the fifth time a Swedish team has challenged for the America’s Cup, and it is the second consecutive campaign for Victory Challenge.

The team, representing the Gamla Stans Yacht Sällskap, was accepted as a challenger by the Defending Yacht Club the Swiss Société Nautique de Genève prior to the initial challenge deadline of the 17th December, 2004. It was not announced as a Challenger until today at the request of the team. Victory Challenge made its public presentation of the team on Friday in Skeppsbrokajen, Stockholm, from its home Yacht Club.

“We are very enthusiastic that Victory Challenge will be battling for the America’s Cup in our home continent of Europe”, said Christer Salén, Chairman of GSYC.

“We have a strong foundation on which to build from our success in Auckland and I’m looking forward to the team racing again for the first time in Valencia in June. Of course I’m also more than happy to be competing in the Louis Vuitton Acts being held in Sweden at Malmö-Skåne in August this year. This will be the first time the most spectacular of all regattas with its fantastic yachts will be held in Sweden.”

Victory Challenge was founded by the late Jan Stenbeck in 2001 to compete in the 31st America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand. Stenbeck, the syndicate head, passed away just prior to the first races of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, but the team continued in his honour, with his son Hugo Stenbeck taking a leadership role on the team. It is Hugo Stenbeck who initiated this new challenge.

In the 2002 Louis Vuitton Cup, Victory Challenge sailed well, eliminating the French team, before bowing out to Prada in the q uarter-finals.

This latest incarnation of Victory Challenge should benefit tremendously from the lessons learned in that last campaign and will also be able to make use of the two boats built for the 2002 effort, SWE-63 (Örn) and SWE-73 (Orm), designed by Mani Frers, for the Louis Vuitton Acts in 2005 and 2006, as well as for a testing and training platform for the campaign.

Victory Challenge will make its debut in Valencia at the Louis Vuitton Acts 4 and 5, joining seven other official Challengers along with the Defender, the Swiss Team Alinghi.