Origin winds down operations

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Britain's America's Cup challenge team, Origin, headed by Sir Keith Mills, is to wind down "to a smaller, core group."

The operation, based both in Portsmouth and Valencia, which had been put in place last July in the expectation of an America's Cup event next year, was considerably reduced in January when it became obvious that a legal wrangle between the Swiss holder, Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi, and Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle could become protracted and cut out all the other challengers.

The smaller group "will comprise some of the management team, key design and sailing team members, a limited commercial/marketing team, and essential support functions." a statement read.

It continued, "Origin will be able to keep the vital elements of its programme alive and progressing and always be ready to 'reignite and ramp up' to full speed. Team members are now able to pursue other projects."

These include sailing a 40-foot catamaran, skippered by Rob Greenhalgh, on the iShares European circuit and providing, with director of sailing Mike Sanderson, key crew on a new American-flagged, New Zealand-built 100-footer, Speedboat.