Team Korea have announced that their skipper, Chris Draper (GBR) will leave the team. The reasons for Draper's exit are not revealed in the announcement by the team.
Draper is a twice world champion in the 49er class, the Olympic skiff, and also won a Bronze medal in the same event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
After doing a start up campaign for Team Korea in 2011, using the prototype boat for the AC45 class, Team Korea performed very well indeed, finishing fourth overall at the end of the third and final event for 2011 in the America's Cup World series.
The official release reads: Following an exciting start to White Tiger Challenge’s America’s Cup campaign this year, Chris Draper and Team Korea have agreed to part at the conclusion of their arrangement for first three ACWS regattas.
Team Korea - AC45 - the fleet race of the AC World Series day 6, Plymouth, UK. - America’s Cup World Series Plymouth - Day 6 - Chris Schmid- Eyemage?nid=91900
Presently ranked equal fourth overall in the America’s Cup World Series, the team has enjoyed tremendous success through an eventful period from its start up earlier this year and is looking to the next phase with continued development and experience.
Reflecting on his involvement with the team Chris said, 'Being part of Korea’s first Americas’ cup challenge has been an incredible experience. I am very grateful to Kim Dong-Young and the other members of the team for putting so much trust in me and providing such a great opportunity to perform on the water. It has been a huge experience and one that I will always look back on with pride, however there are other opportunities that I cannot overlook, and so I would like to wish Team Korea all the best of success and good luck for the future.'
Team Korea CEO Kim Dong-Young added, ‘’Chris has done a superb job and been very valuable in helping us grow through the first ACWS events. From the start we agreed we would review our respective goals on completion of these regattas and review the lessons learnt from both sides, and I have nothing but the highest admiration for what Chris has achieved for us. It has been a pleasure working with him, and I wish him good fortune in his next challenge. In the meantime our plans progress and we shall be making further announcements shortly.'
Team Korea is the newest team in the oldest international sporting competition, representing the Sail Korea Yacht Club, and joining the America's Cup at a time when the country is one of the one of leading economies in the world. The team is fondly known as the ‘White Tiger Challenge’, the White Tiger a revered and ancient Guardian God of the west in Korean mythology. Sponsors of the team include Sail Racing high performance clothing.