Saturday, 4 April 2009

AC: K-Challenge Team Goes Forward

K-Challenge competed at the Marseille International Match Race this year. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget.

by Stephanie Nadin

The New York Court of Appeals has finally made a decision in favor of the Golden Gate Yacht Club: Club Nautico Español de Vela is not confirmed as Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's Cup.

The Golden Gate Yacht Club is now the Challenger of Record, as per the first Court decision.

The 33rd America's Cup will be a duel between Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing who will face each other, 10 months from now, in a venue that Alinghi will choose. The next multi-challengers America's Cup is postponed, unless they come to an agreement.

K-Challenge Sailing Team to work in continuity

K-Challenge, French team for the 32nd America's Cup, carried on after its first participation between 2004 and 2007. The team anticipated well the situation and had already chosen for a long time not to stop while waiting for this decision, whatever it could be.

The sailing team leaded by Sebastien Col (ISAF World match racing ranking's number one) keeps on racing, thanks to a programme that will allow the team to take part to the next multi-challengers America's Cup with a group coming from the new generation and having a strong common experience, which is an essential ingredient to be competitive and powerful in this event.

The K-Challenge Sailing Team's machine is on, with promising results in 2008 and a Runner Up title on the World Match Racing Tour for Seb Col. The French team also took part to the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series among the 10 best teams in the world in February 2009, before starting a complete season on the World Match Racing Tour (10 events) and the RC44 circuit (6 events).

K-Challenge Sailing Team: more challenges as a target!

The team is considering to take part to the Tour de France à la Voile as soon as possible in order to reinforce its programme, and to prepare the group thanks to other types of boats. The Tour is also a place where it is possible to meet and to test many crew members. (As a reminder, K-Challenge is also involved in the pitch for the renewing of the Tour de France à la Voile´s official boat from 2011, which is a collaboration with Russell Coutts and the Pauger boat yard. This association is currently one of the three finalists.)

The team is also examining other projects on top level circuits, in order to reinforce its 2010 programme, still with the America's Cup as a ultimate goal. K-Challenge owns a 24m Version 5 America's Cup Class boat, and all the required infrastructure, which are ideal and unique tools in France to train a team towards the America's Cup.

Stephane Kandler, K-Challenge's CEO: «this situation had to come to an end, and this is now done. May the best win on the water. The America's Cup is an historical event, and it has come through a lot of similar situations in the past, we mustn't forget that. It will come out even stronger out of that. In the meantime, the K-Challenge Sailing Team has already chosen to use the time given to work with the new generation which will challenge in the next America's Cup. This is a new approach, that we never had the chance to benefit from in France in this mythical competition, and we will work more than ever to catch it! We absolutely need to have a long term vision if we want to win this competition one day, and this is for that reason we've never stopped fighting with my team in 8 years!”


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