|TOULOUSE, FRANCE-(11-1-2005) The K-Challenge team, French Official Challenger for the 32nd America’s Cup, is back on its training base in Gandia, Spain. After the Christmas break, hard work has started again !
`We have finished the complete disassembling of the boats, we have checked all the machine elements and tools, and prepared the sail loft`, says Yannick Le Morvan, K-Challenge's Shore Boss. `We are now looking forward to receiving the new parts, in order to carry out the Design Team's envisaged modifications on the boats. We are working on the old masts to adapt them to the new Rules, and to integrate some new carbon parts according to David Barnaby's plans, Mast Designer (America's Cup in 2003 with Team New Zealand). We are also preparing all the logistics on the base to welcome all the team that will fully be there soon.`
The work organisation which started as soon as the end of the Louis Vuitton Acts 2&3 last October, will now be followed by a very important chapter, as the Design Team will do the required modifications on FRA 60 to fit the Version 5 Rules. (FRA 60, (ex-NZL 60), has been the winning Defender of the America's Cup 2000, and has arrived at the beginning of December on the K-Challenge base in Gandia). To be more specific, the construction of the new keel is nearly completed; there will also be a lightening of the boat and an increase of the draft. The first sea trials will take place at the end of February in Gandia.
Dimitri Nicolopoulos, Design Team Manager, explains : `To complete all of those modifications, we use CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), and we've just finished some windtunnel testing sessions. We will work soon in towing tanks to refine the shapes of our new boats. We are also building a new mast according to the Version 5 Rules, as well as the new sails which are being prepared at the same time. We are modifying the old masts, in order to be able to adapt the new sails on those. Everything will be able to be tested at the same time in the coming weeks. We still have a lot to do, but the provisionnal planning is respected, which is crucial in order to allow the developmental sailing team to start the training from the middle of March. There is not a long time left before the next Acts in June, and K-Challenge is really on time regarding its technical preparation, and takes an advantage on other teams which have not started to work on the design.`
A sailing and testing two-boat program will be organised with FRA 57. The goal is to be more powerful in the Louis Vuitton Acts 4&5 which will take place in Valencia in June, and which will be the opening of the 2005 Season.
We will be able to count on a very good sailing team too, as with Cameron Appleton, (2 America’s Cup with Team New Zealand sailing team-traveller in 2000, and back-up helmsman/tactician in 2003), who has confirmed his final engagement with the team at the beginning of January : `I am happy to be joining a team with great expectations of what’s to come in the lead to 2007. The team is going to take shape and build on where it was in 2004 and that will be apart of development and team building in the coming months which are important to a new team`.
Having a very good understanding of the Rules is also a very important part in the success of a syndicate (i.e Protocol, Terms of Challenge, to name a few), and K-Challenge is very pleased to announce that George Clyde has joined the team, and becomes a master piece of it as General Legal Counsel . This Anglo-Saxon attorney, who is one of the best specialists in the America's Cup, has left GBR Challenge to join K-Challenge. George Clyde has also been part of the America True team in 2000.