It’s been a busy week for TeamOrigin – the UK sailing team backed by Sir Keith Mills. So busy in fact, that the news of partnering with the Carbon Trust to create an environmental evangelist program from sailing overshadowed the announcement that the team would compete in the 2010 Audi Med Cup (as well as the Louis Vuitton World Series).
The team went into survival mode in 2009, trying to keep the core group of talent together while Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli sidelined all-comers for the America’s Cup. The team helped Richard Branson out with his trans-Atlantic record crossinng in ‘Speedboat’ (renamed Virgin Money for the occasion), and Ben Ainslie competed in a couple of World Match Racing Tour Events.
Now with the new environmental evangelism behind them, TeamOrigin will once again become a ‘superteam’ – maximising their sponsors returns by competing in multiple Big-Boat events in 2010 and beyond.
TeamOrigin Team Director, Mike Sanderson confirmed that the team are working hard on their plans to join the Audi MedCup Circuit for next season. The entry of the UK team may convince Emirates Team New Zealand to return to the TP52 series for 2010. The chance for both teams to benchmark against each other may justify the NZ team’s continued involvement in the series, despite their winning 2009 boat being up for sale.
” We are definitely going to do it unless anything changes. We are basing that decision on what we know of the circuit for next year. I have spoken to just about everyone I can who is on the Circuit and they sound committed to going ahead next season.”
“We have to make the decision whether to buy an existing boat and make it fast or build to the new rule and so we are going through that process just now.”
” We would love to do a new boat. We have to make the decision very soon but it ticks all the boxes, utilising more of our team, our design capability. But the flip side of that is that we have to believe it will be competitive in the future. It appears this season that the three new boats have a slight edge and so we really want to be able to at least reach that pace.”
” At the moment we are just inside that window (to build new) and so we would have to go at it full noise to get there, we are just deciding just now what the best way will be.”
” Juan (Kouyoumdjian) is working on it just now. He’s looking at it. But to build new, if it makes sense, is our first choice because it uses so many aspects of our team’s abilities.”
” We are definitely very excited about being on the MedCup Circuit next year. For sure.”