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Paperwork hiccup overcome for Australian America’s Cup Challenge

by Jeraldine Kennedy, Sail-World.com on 17 Jun 2011
16/02/2011 - Auckland (NZL) - 34th America’s Cup - AC45 sea trials - Team Australia first testing Ivor Wilkins/www.americascup.com©">www.americascup.com© www.americascup.com
Good news at last for Australia's America's Cup 34 Challenging team after a dramatic turn of events in the last few days when the list of challengers announced at a press conference in the host city of San Francisco included two teams from France plus representatives from China, Italy, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden and the United States but no Australian Team.

Australian Syndicate head Peter Baker in San Francisco for the talks with the America’s Cup Event Management group had initially blamed his funding dilemma on Yachting Australia, the peak Australia Sailing authority, but Baker upon his return to Australia today has backed away from that claim.

He confirmed that there had been a misunderstanding of the documentation received two months earlier, that advised of the need to obtain a supporting letter from the national authority so that the Australian Sport Foundation could allow personal donations to the Australian challenge to be made tax deductible.

In a report published on Sail-World.com on May 26th, the Australian syndicate previously calling itself Team Australia, unveiled the name Team Yachting Australia.

As a result Phil Jones the CEO of Yachting Australia contacted Baker expressing concern that the Australian syndicate name was an issue and at that same time, received a request for a supporting letter.

Jones said yesterday 'We received documentation very late from the Team Yachting Australia syndicate, however we have forwarded the supporting letter they sought on the proviso the syndicate changed their name and supplied their business plan and other documents that would confirm their credentials.

‘We are very keen to see an Australian America's Cup challenge and ahead of that believe the sight of AC45's racing on Sydney Harbour will bring a lot of corporate support to the Australian challenger.'

Baker said this morning the syndicate will be changing it's name as requested and he believes their challenge for the 2013 America's Cup is alive, despite them not being named among the latest line-up of competitors.

Baker believes that with the tax deductibility in place his syndicate will attract the support needed to place a deposit on the 11th AC45. He hopes the team will be able to purchase a new AC45 in time for the third leg of the World Series in San Diego, USA in November.

The Australian syndicate are keen to mount a full America's Cup Challenge, after hosting a round or even rounds of the America’s Cup World Series on Sydney Harbour possibly as early as January 2012.
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