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Jameson to sail for US in Admiral's Cup

10th January 1997
ON the eve of one of world's largest winter regattas, at Key West, Florida, the US Sailing Association has confirmed that Dun Laoghaire's Mumm 36, Jameson, will sail for the US in July's Admiral's Cup series off Cowes. In a disappointing start for the 1997 offshore year, it is looking increasingly clear that for only the second time in 10 years there will be no Irish team competing for the Admiral's Cup. Owner Tom Roche, of the Royal Irish YC, has been in negotiation with the American team since late last year. Jameson will be sailed by J22 and J24 world champion Chris Larson. Larson will use Key West as a warm up event on the professional circuit. The balance of the US AC team will not be finalised until the big boat trials in May.
Roche said yesterday that, as well as himself, there were two other Irish sailors on the panel for the eight man crew, and he was hopeful they would all make the US team, allowable under AC rules. Pitman James Hynes (25), has flown out to race at Key West. Bowman Damien Foxall (24), is the third crew panellist. Irish Distillers welcomed the selection of Jameson yesterday: "The Mumm 36 Jameson is confirmed as the USA small boat for the Admiral's Cup, and the sponsorship of the 1997 campaign is in place," the company chairman, Richard Burrows, told The Irish Times yesterday. Jameson has finished a successful season in the US which yielded the Pacific championship and a class win in the San Francisco Big Boat series. In October she narrowly lost out on overall victory in the Mumm world championships to Germany's Thomas I Punkt. An ambitious 1997 programme also includes Key West in Florida, SORC in March and Punta Ala, Italy, for the world championships in June. Cash bonuses of up to £5,000 are on offer to Irish sailors who achieve top performances at Olympic qualifying regattas this season, as the Irish Sailing Association Olympic committee (ISA OC) embark on a £500,000 plan for Sydney 2000. Atlanta Olympic race winner Mark Lyttle, now an Olympic committee member, has said the odds are stacked against those sailors who decide only to undertake two and three year campaigns. The 2000 approach will be to broaden the base and to encourage as many as possible into Olympic sailing. The reality, however, is that only those sailors who have at least hit the top half of the fleet by. 1998 will be offered any real chance of campaign funding. The squad will be narrowed significantly in the course of 1998 and 1999 to a handful of full time sailors on professional campaigns. The international qualifying regattas for 1997 as well as a new card funding system and bonus payments were unveiled to over 60 sailors at a highly successful ISA forum in Howth Yacht Club last weekend. Speakers included Melbourne gold medallist Ronnie Delaney, who recounted his story and shared his views on what it took for success down under. Meanwhile, British Vendee Globe competitor Tony Bullimore, rescued yesterday by the Royal Australian Navy, will, despite hypothermia, dehydration, frost bite and a severed finger, be thanking his lucky stars that he is still alive. A decade ago, Bullimore was involved with a number of high speed sailing projects in these islands. In 1986, the former European yachtsman of the year was en route to Ireland to make an attempt for the Cork Dry Gin Round Ireland speed record trophy, but the record attempt never got started thanks to a 20 knot collision between a whale and Bullimore's 60 foot catamaran. An ill prepared yacht has been displayed by the RNLI at the London International Boat show as a reminder to yachtsmen to be more responsible for funding a service which they are most likely to require. Lifeboat services to those using the sea for pleasure continue to account for the largest total proportion of the statistics. A breakdown of the figures issued by RNLI Ireland shows that pleasure craft, sail, power and manual, accounted for 55 per cent of services during 1996, compared with 56 per cent in 1995.
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