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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 11:47 GMT
GBR boss Harrison upbeat
GBR Challenge
The GBR Challenge team was launched in August 2000

GBR Challenge boss Peter Harrison insisted that Britain's first America's Cup entry for 15 years had laid solid foundations for future success.

The British entry crashed out of the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series after losing the best-of-seven quarter-final 4-1 to Cup veteran Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes team.

Businessman Harrison stumped up 22m to revive Britain's involvement in the competition, taking place this time on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

The only thing I regret is that time is the enemy

Peter Harrison

But he stressed it was money well spent to help put Britain back on the America's Cup map.

"I had two goals when we came here - the first was to win the America's Cup and the second was to win one race," Harrison said.

"It has to come to an end eventually for everyone because only one team can win the Cup and sadly it will not be us this time.

"But the only thing I regret is that time is the enemy.

"We'd not been in it for 15 years so we were on a massive learning curve.

"The only disappointment is that we didn't bring GBR 78 [here early enough] and were always going to be a one-boat programme.

"So if there's any lesson it's to start early and to get your boats here early. But we'll have a better opportunity next time."

Harrison insisted that despite the disappointment - and the massive outlay of cash - he was determined to take GBR Challenge to the next America's Cup.

"I'm planning on continuity, definitely," he said.

"I've taken lots of decisions within the team, which will enable that to happen. The key thing I wanted to do was kick-start Britain back into what I call the World Cup of sailing.

I should congratulate Ian for being a wonderful skipper and also the fantastic work which my crew have done

Peter Harrison

"The key to continuity is hopefully we have shown, where we've got major global companies and British companies, that there is value in supporting and backing us for this World Cup of sailing.

"Given that, I am prepared to put in certain additional monies and carry the campaign on. But I do need partners and sponsors to join me."

Harrison insisted that his team had performed admirably despite their relative inexperience and late start to their campaign compared to the competition.

"I should congratulate Ian for being a wonderful skipper and also the fantastic work which my crew have done.

"I couldn't have asked for a better work rate and a better learning performance with what they've achieved.

"We just need a slightly faster boat."

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BBC Sport's Richard Simmonds
"It has been a useful learning exercise for GBR"
GBR Challenge chairman Peter Harrison
"We've had a fantastic amount of success"
America's Cup

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