Team Korea throws hat in the ring for AC34
SUZANNE MCFADDEN - BOATING NZ
Team Korea has boosted the number of challengers for the 2013 America's Cup to four.
Korea's first-ever Cup campaign has taken advantage of the two-month extension to the deadline to pay the $200,000 entry fee.
Defenders Oracle Racing and three other paid-up challengers, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis and Luna Rossa, voted to extend the deadline to August 1. The hope is that China Team and the French Energy Racing camp will also be able to pull together the finances for a one-boat campaign to race off San Francisco.
Team Korea's team principal Kim Dong-Young apparently announced to his sailing crew at the Korea Match Cup earlier this month that the team, representing the Sail Korea Yacht Club, would be building an AC72 to race in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series. Dong-Young is organiser of the Korea Match Cup.
Iain Murray, regatta director for the 2013 America's Cup, said: "I'm very happy to see Team Korea take this next step. The challenges faced by any America's Cup team are immense; it's just a massive project, so to see the Korean team tick another box and move to the next stage is very encouraging."
Team Korea has proven to be a fast learner. Going into the final event of the 2011-12 America's Cup World Series in Newport, Rhode Island, next week, the Koreans are fifth overall. Their best result has been second in the match racing section of the Plymouth regatta.
It helps that the team boasts an international crew featuring some of the world's best sailors. Their skipper, Australian Nathan Outteridge, won gold in the 49er skiff at the Sail For Gold Olympic dress rehearsal in Weymouth earlier this month. Outteridge and his sailing partner Iain Jensen are gold medal favourites for the London Olympics in August.
Team Korea tactician, Englishman Giles Scott, won gold at the same regatta in the Finn, outclassing multi-gold medallist and Oracle Racing afterguard member Ben Ainslie.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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