France has declared its intention to be the fourth competitor in the next America’s Cup, scheduled for 2013.
The Aleph team, headed by Bertrand Pace and Alain Gautier has added Equipe de France to its title and gained the backing of the sport’s national governing body, the Federation Francaise de Voile.
Pace was also tactician to Team New Zealand in 2003; Gautier is a multihull specialist.
The team is working on its funding and had held up going public. A second Franco-German team, All4One, headed by Stephane Kandler and skippered by Jochen Schuemann, has yet to commit.
The America’s Cup Event Authority, which is organising both the final event and a series of regattas to be known as the America’s Cup World Series, has also announced that, in addition to the defender, the San Francisco-based BMW Oracle, it has received challenges from Mascalzone Latino of Italy and Artemis of Sweden plus a fourth, yet to be named, challenger.
The venue for the 2013 final is due to be announced before the end of the month. The venues for the five announced events in 2011, to be raced in 45-foot wing sail catamarans being built in Warkworth, New Zealand, should be announced by the end of January.
At the same time, teams will be working on the design and build of their own 72-foot wing sail catamarans, which will be raced in 2012 and the Cup itself in 2013.
The second leg of the Velux 5 Oceans singlehanded race around the world, which takes the five competitors from Cape Town to Wellington, starts on Sunday.