The partnership which produced the top-scoring boat in last year's Admiral's Cup, Adrian Stead and Tim Powell, is to team up again this year to lead a serious assault on the Tour de France a la Voile.
In the Mumm 30 Barlo Plastics they face strong opposition not only from a raft of leading French teams, but from the America's Cup winners Team New Zealand and Dawn Riley's challengers, America True.
The race, which incorporates both day and night racing, begins in Dieppe on 29 June and is scheduled to end in Calvi, Corsica, on 31 July. The first leg is to Portsmouth.
Making the announcement in Southampton yesterday, Stead introduced a strong 11-man squad from whom six will sail at any one time. They include the Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, the double Olympian Stuart Childerley, and the 1988 Olympian Andy Hemmings, the match racers Jules Salter and James Stagg, and the round-the-world racer Gerry Mitchell. His co-skipper Powell is in New York awaiting favourable weather conditions for an attempt on the west-east transatlantic record on Gianni Agnelli's 92-foot Stealth.
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