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GBR Challenge sailing manger Ian Walker
"We regard it as unfinished business"
 real 56k

Monday, 2 April, 2001, 13:22 GMT
Admiral's Cup sunk by apathy
The fleet cross the line at the start of the eighth and final Admiral's Cup race from Cowes in 1999
The Admiral's Cup has failed to catch the imagination
Sailing's Admiral's Cup has been cancelled - because not enough teams had entered.

The prestigious event, which is billed as the unofficial world championship of offshore yacht racing, was due to have taken place off the Isle of Wight in July.

But race organisers revealed that only two entries - France and Britain - had been confirmed by the cut-off date on Monday.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club had previously stated that at least five teams would have to enter for the offshore race to take place this year.

The Admiral's Cup has taken place every other year since 1957.


We were upset that this should happen, causing us to lose one of our premier events
  RORC general manager David Minords

In a statement, Peter Rutter, chairman of the Admiral's Cup management committee, said: "I am very sad that we have had to take this decision.

"I am sure it is right to make a clean break and to return in 2003 with a new event that will put the Admiral's Cup back at the forefront of international racing."

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) blamed the surprise withdrawal of the American team for the cancellation of the race.

David Minords, general manager of the RORC, said: "We met with the American team in January and they were very committed to competing.

Redevelopment

"But they then announced out of the blue that they would not be entering, and this had a domino effect.

The American withdrawal consequently led to the Italians, Germans and Australians all pulling out of the competition.

"We were upset that this should happen, causing us to lose one of our premier events," added Minords.

"We have been working seven days a week to try and rescue this year's event, but it was decided that we should draw a line under it.

"It is the end of an era, but we will set about redeveloping the Admiral's Cup to produce an event more relevant to the new millennium."

But Minords said the American withdrawal was nothing to do with the recent foot and mouth outbreak which has swept Great Britain and Europe.

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