Ludde Ingvall’s 90 footer "YuuZoo" heading for Hobart. - 65th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009
A syndicate of Australians including yachtsman Ludde Ingvall, skipper of the YuuZoo Big Boat Racing Team, has submitted a Notice of Challenge to the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco.
The Syndicate says it aims to bring together nationwide resources and skills in a true people's challenge. Lodging the application reserves a place for Australia to return to competition for the world's oldest international sporting trophy.
Ludde Ingvall: 'Excellence in youth sailing is my objective. We want to bring home the many talented Australians sailing for other countries and give them a chance to compete for their country. We want to create a legacy for future generations, something to aspire to, a reason for any Australian youngster to get out there and take part in our wonderful sport of sailing at all levels.'
This afternoon Ingvall told Sail-World 'We've been represented at two prospective challenger meetings so far staged, we've been to New Zealand to look at the AC45's.
'We have a committed syndicate and we are currently doing due diligence. We have people analysing every element of the package and above all we want to see how it can make commerical sens. While we believe Australia has the ability to win in a single campaign, we must assume funding needs to be in place for three cycles.
We have plenty of manufacturing capacity within the Australian marine industry and we have very talented sailors.
'We are the sixth team to have paid a deposit and we are prepared to lose that deposit if needed. 'We are not at liberty to tell you the name of the challenging yacht club at this stage. '
Project manager Dario Valenza: 'Bringing an event to Australia would rival Oprah's visit in tourism value as well as boosting Australia's marine industry.'
Syndicate member and multi hull expert Peter Baker: 'Australia has been the challenger at seven and the defender at one of the 33 America's Cup events so far and has sought to challenge on three other occasions. Australia has provided America's Cup teams worldwide with more members than any other nation in modern times. We want to bring them home. The last America's Cup was won for the USA by an Australian skipper on a boat designed by an Australian racing against another boat designed by an Australian for a Swiss team. Yet Australia has been out of the game for 13 years.'
YuuZoo co-skipper David Witt with skipper Ludde Ingvall, aboard YuuZoo at CYCA - Sydney-Hobart
YuuZoo Co Founder Ron Creevey says: 'We are delighted and excited about partnering with the Big Boat Racing Team to work on the feasibility for the Australian America's Cup entry. Personally I would like to call on other Australian corporations and individuals to get behind the idea and bring the America's Cup back to Australia. We have watched the cream of Australian talent such as James Spithill and Adam Beashel compete for many countries over the past 20 years and it will be extremely satisfying for YuuZoo to be involved by providing the platform for talented Australians to represent our country.'
'The best sailors on the fastest boats' - The F1 of sailing. This is the new format America's Cup: a level playing field where giant, faster than the wind, 22 metre catamarans powered by 40 metre rigid wings fly on the edge of control with one hull in the water and the other metres above. The furious action takes place in locations across the globe including Australia. On courses which are chosen as natural amphitheatres, close to shore where spectators can almost reach out and touch the amazing machines dueling in short races in rapid succession.
An independently managed, ongoing Annual World Tour is planned and part of the Syndicate's strategy is to stage events in Australia.
The new boats will test strength and finesse, require nerves of steel and super fast reflexes. Skills required in all sailing but honed to perfection in the giant AC72 yachts. The new Australian Syndicate wants to bring AC Supporters together in giving young, talented Australian sailors the chance to step up and shine on the world stage.
Ludde Ingvall: 'We want to get everyone working together to make possible a true people's challenge for the benefit of all Australians. The new format America's Cup is a once in a lifetime chance to jump to the front of a sporting and technological revolution. Being part of the America's Cup also means bringing races to Australia, fantastic for tourism and the chance for Australian fans to see their team in action. Our aim is to engage the Australian public, corporate Australia and Australian sailing institutions such as yacht clubs and associations. We are undertaking due diligence with well respected business advisors reporting on the economic impact of taking part in what is the third largest sporting event in the world.'
The Syndicate is seeking the advice of the sailing community through an Advisory Panel, seeking the support of the Australian public through a Supporters Club and the support of the Australian Government through both Sport and Tourism Authorities. 'Most importantly we need the support of the whole Australian sailing community,' said Ludde Ingvall.
The Notice of Challenge has to be vetted by the America's Cup organisers, but assuming that it is approved YuuZoo Big Boat Racing Team will become the sixth entry in the 34th America's Cup. Teams from Sweden, France, Italy, USA, plus an undisclosed entry have already entered the regatta due to be sailed in September 2013 at a venue yet to be selected from Italy, San Francisco or Newport, RI.