Hamo sets sail on voy­age to claim Amer­ica’s Cup

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

HAMIL­TON Is­land Yacht Club (HIYC) has of­fi­cially set sail on its four-year Aus­tralian chal­lenge for the 35th Amer­ica’s Cup.

Last week, Olympic Gold Medal­list and ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year, Mathew Belcher, was an­nounced as skip­per of Team Aus­tralia’s AC45 cata­ma­ran, which was chris­tened on Syd­ney Har­bour.

Val Oat­ley, Bob Oat­ley’s wife, un­veiled the AC45 wing­sail cata­ma­ran, at a chris­ten­ing at Team Aus­tralia’s Syd­ney base.

Sandy Oat­ley, Chair­man of Chal­lenger for the Hamil­ton Is­land Yacht Club, said this was an­other mile­stone in the Amer­ica’s Cup jour­ney, which will fi­nalise in 2017.

“We’re in­cred­i­bly proud to put for­ward this Aus­tralian chal­lenge and hope all Aus­tralians come to­gether and rally be­hind us,” he said.

“There is a great sense of pride in Aus­tralia striv­ing to win the Amer­ica’s Cup - im­por­tantly, it’s over thirty year’s since we won it [so] our time is now - it’s time to get back in the ring and bring back the cup.”

Olympic and five-time world 470 cham­pion Mathew Belcher said he was hum­bled and ex­cited by the hon­our of leading the crew.

“It’s an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity and I’m look­ing for­ward to the jour­ney, com­ing aboard and work­ing to­gether with the crew to bring the cup back to Aus­tralia,” he said.

Belcher will lead Team Aus­tralia’s first train­ing ses­sions on iconic Syd­ney Har­bour from March to June 2014 along­side Or­a­cle Team USA.

Team Aus­tralia will use the train­ing ses­sions to ro­tate a num­ber of crew through the boat, in­tro­duc­ing them to the AC45 cata­ma­ran, as they race against Or­a­cle Team USA.

Iain Mur­ray, Team Aus­tralia’s CEO, said Hamil­ton Is­land Yacht Club, as the Chal­lenger of Record, was com­mit­ted to mak­ing the 35th Amer­ica’s Cup more ac­cessi- ble to other chal­lengers by driv­ing costs down as well as en­sur­ing the im­mense tal­ents of Aus­tralian sailors were show­cased.

“As a coun­try, we’ve proven we can pro­duce some of the best sailors in the world and now it’s our turn to build an all-Aussie win­ning team skip­pered by one of most awarded Aus­tralian sailors,” he said.

Team Aus­tralia’s crew con­sists of Mat Belcher, Seve Jarvin, Sam New­ton, Ed Smyth, Troy Tindill, David Gil­mour, Will McCarthy and Wade Mor­gan.

TEAM­WORK: The Hamil­ton Is­land led Team Aus­tralia's CEO Iain Mur­ray, newly an­nounced skip­per Mathew Belcher and chal­lenger chair­man Sandy Oat­ley at the chris­ten­ing of Team Aus­tralia’s AC45 cata­ma­ran in Syd­ney last week. Photo by An­drea Fran­col­ini / Team Aus­tralia

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