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A new Star is Born for Williams and Pepper

by Annabel Jeaffreson and Sail-World on 11 Dec 2006
Builder and Starmeister, Stefano Lillia and Hamish Pepper with the new boat in Lillia’s factory in Lake Como, Italy Annabel Jeaffreson

In a cold and wintry December the 2006 Star World Champion and 2007 Olympic squad member Hamish Pepper is in Lake Como, Italy making the finishing touches to his new Lilia Star boat.

His crew, Carl Williams is enjoying a 'break' at home as he works with BMW Oracle Racing as they tune up on the Waitemata, before returning to Valencia, at the end of February 2007.

The intention is for this new boat to be used by Williams and Pepper to both defend their World Championship and qualify New Zealand for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The first Olympic qualifier takes place in July 2007 in Cascais, Portugal where 12 countries will have the their first opportunity to qualify, with the remaining four being decided at the 2008 Worlds.

However the World Championships overlap with the 2007 America's Cup, and should BMW Oracle Racing be the Challenger, then Williams will not be available. However once America's Cup committments are over, Williams will be back in the hiking harness and completely focussed on their 2008 Olympic campaign.

Reflecting on the new boat, which was due for delivery, last Friday, Hamish Pepper said 'It’s great to oversee the finer details of our new baby. It means I can personalise the exact location of the various fittings etc. Normally when you receive a new boat it takes a lot of time and work to get it just how you want it, so this is a real advantage for us'

'It’s been a fantastic year for us in the older Lilia so we are really excited to see what we can do in a new one. Unfortunately it’s too cold here at the moment so I’m going to have to wait until late February at the earliest to christen her!'

'Harken have continued to support us by supplying all the deck gear which is awesome. They are also based here at Como so it’s been great having the chance to meet the team and visit the factory'

The boat will now be transported to Valencia, Spain where Pepper is based.

Mid January Pepper heads to Miami, USA for the Olympic Classes Regatta. David Giles will be crewing in the absence of Carl Williams as he is committed to BMW Oracle over this period.

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