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  Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
GBR Challenge
GBR Challenge was named by Princess Anne
GBR Challenge was named by Princess Anne

Great Britain's first America's Cup bid for 15 years blends the best of British sailing with foreign experience.

Team boss Peter Harrison had to start from scratch, but has invested heavily to build a competitive two-boat campaign from Cowes, England.

He will rely on an Englishman and a New Zealander for leadership in the Hauraki Gulf.

  GBR Challenge
Country: Great Britain
Base: Cowes
Head: Peter Harrison
Skipper: Ian Walker
Budget: US$30m
Sail no: GBR 70, GBR 78

British Olympian Ian Walker is skipper, while Kiwi David Barnes brings local knowledge to the team as syndicate manager.

And with the guile of helmsmen Andy Green and Andy Beadsworth, and the well-tested brawn of former rowing champion Greg Searle in support, hopes are high.

GBR Challenge had an encouraging America's Cup Jubilee Regatta on home waters in 2001 and will need to sail faster still to reach the latter stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

They are capable of doing so if the technology is right and have the choice of two boats after Wight Magic was flown out to join Wight Lightning in August.

Harrison knows his team are on a steep learning curve, having had only a matter of months - rather than years - to prepare.

But even if the ultimate prize eludes him, he can realistically expect a strong showing that restores Great Britain to its place among the sailing powers of the world.

Verdict: A place in the Challenger semi-finals would do Britain proud.

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25 Sep 02 | Americas Cup
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