Origin expected to part company with Juan K

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The Independent Online

A further reshuffle at the top is expected to see the severance of the British America’s cup challenger Team Origin with one of the world’s top designers, the Argentinian Juan Kouyoumdjian. That is like Red Bull parting company with Adrian Newey

Juan K, as he is more generally known, is credited with coming up with some of the most radical designs in yacht racing. He was behind the Volvo race winning yacht for the man who has just left Origin as its sailing director, Mike Sanderson, and was responsible for Origin’s new TP52 on the Audi MedCup circuit.

But the man who recently replaced Sanderson, chief executive officer Grant Simmer, is thought to want an in-house integrated team and is unlikely to appoint a replacement for Juan K ahead of the design for the 2013/2014 34th Cup being announced by the end of the year. Simmer had a similar role at Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, where Rolf Vrolijk was the chief designer.

Origin skipper Ben Ainslie lines up for the semi-finals of the Stena Match Cup in Marstrand tomorrow having said this week that a change in plans could see him taking part in all the remaining five grand prix on the World Match Race Tour. He meets the Australian Torvar Mirsky as Denmark’s Jesper Radich races the Swede Magnus Holmberg in the other half of the draw.

Ekaterina Skudina of Russia won the women’s event beating Renee Groenevald of The Netherlands, while Britain’s Lucy Macgregor beat Australia’s Katie Pellew (Spithill) for third.

In Gdynia, there was a first and third for the very strong British 49er squad as Chris Draper and Pete Greenhalgh took gold in the European championship and the 2008 Games pairing of Steve Morrison and Ben Rhodes won bronze.

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