United Internet Team Germany today joined the growing band of official challengers for the 33rd America's Cup revealing their methods by announcing heavy-duty financial and technical support.
Along with the continuing presence of United Internet, the German challenge will also be supported by Audi AG, currently the premium sponsor of the TP52 Breitling MedCup. It is great to see that while the 33rd America's Cup is still being dragged through the courts, heavyweight and 'knowing' sports sponsorship can still be secured - a valuable asset to all challengers.
Porsche Consulting are on board for yacht design and technical coordination. It is rumoured that the UK's Jason Ker will be named chief designer for the 90' class.
The team also confirmed the purchase of SUI91 from Swiss America's Cup holders Alinghi; the vessel will duly be renamed GER91. It is believed that existing work on the construction of GER101, one of the last class 5 vessels allocated, will be discontinued.
And finally... Twice previous America's Cup winner Jochen Schümann is confirmed as Team Director, working with previously announced skipper, Karol Jablonski.
The Afterguard's view
After weeks of nothing but courtroom drama and pessimism, the last week has seen two challenging teams step up to the plate and lay it on the line. The unproven TEAMORIGIN presented spectacularly well specified personnel and financial backing, and today Team Germany signalled its intent to make good use of its experience of the last campaign. Despite much distraction, it is welcomed that some remember that the Cup can only be one out on the water.
Willy Kuhweide (DCYC), Rupert Stadler (Audi AG),
Michael Scheeren (UITG), Jochen Schümann (UITG),
Ralph Dommermuth (United Internet), Karol Jablonski (UITG),
Eberhard Weiblen (Porsche Consulting)
The UITG Press Statement (Here), reproduced in full:
Jochen Schümann leads German Challenge to 33rd America’s Cup
Starnberg, 19.09.2007 12:15 in AC2007
- Strong Partner: United Internet AG and AUDI AG main sponsors - Porsche Consulting becomes technology partner - German team acquires Alinghi yacht It is an important day in the German sailing sport and a new start for the America’s Cup project.
The second participation of a German yacht in the legendary battle for the oldest sports trophy in the world will be led by the multi Olympic medallist and double America’s Cup winner Jochen Schümann. With this announcement Head of Syndicate of the German Challenge managed the highest possible sportive coup. “We have been doing our homework in the past few weeks and months and dealt with all necessary changes and duties. After committing Karol Jablonski as our skipper we are now able to welcome Jochen Schümann as the new Head of Team”, Michael Scheeren announced. One of the main goals of all participants has now been achieved. The experience and know-how of Jochen Schümann, especially made in the past America’s Cups, will be invaluable for the German team. “For me it is like a dream come true to be able to participate in the America’s Cup for Germany. This is a comeback with an excellent starting position for the German Challenge”, Jochen Schümann looks forward to his new assignment as a Head of Team. In the next couple of weeks he will be selecting the crew for the next two years. “We have been talking with high class sailors and this makes me feel very positive”, says Schümann. From a sports perspective we are well-positioned in such an early stage of the game”, Head of Syndicate Scheeren continues saying.
United Internet AG and AUDI AG main sponsors of the German Challenge With the United Internet AG continuing its commitment in sport sponsoring and the gain of new partners like Audi AG and Porsche Consulting, the whole concept of the campaign is now resting on many pillars. “I am happy to announce that the United Internet AG with its core brands 1&1, GMX and WEB.DE will again be at the starting line for the second German campaign in the America’s Cup”, says Ralph Dommermuth, Head of the United Internet AG. The first campaign has been a great success for the internet company in terms of media recognition. The decisive factors for the United Internet AG to continue their engagement have been the announcement of Valencia once again being the venue and the sportive repositioning of the team. “In the past few weeks and months and in many one-on-one talks Michael Scheeren has not only developed but also realised a stable concept. With Jochen Schümann and Karol Jablonski the Head of Syndicate managed to fix two high-class celebrities for the sportive key positions in the team”, says Dommermuth.
AUDI AG is also supporting the rearranged United Internet Team Germany campaign and is therefore enlarging its sportive engagement in the sailing sport. The participation of the premium manufacturer can be noticed at first sight because of the four rings, which will be exclusively printed on the spinnaker and, together with the brand name 1&1, on the main sail. “The America’s Cup is the most renowned and traditional sailing regatta in the world. To meet this great and fascinating challenge you need to have courage, a strong team and perfect technique. We are proud to be on board of the German team”, Rupert Stadler, member of the board of AUDI AG explained.
Porsche Consulting takes over the yacht construction and provides coordinator of Technique The Porsche Consulting GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, will be responsible for the concentration of all technological competence. While in the first campaign Michael Scheeren sometimes had to struggle with the task management, Porsche Consulting is now handed over all responsibilities for the developing process of the boat and the coordination of all involved companies –ranging from designers over contractors to boat builders. “It is a nice challenge to support the German team in this crucial field. We feel honoured of being appointed with the task to be the management- and technology partner during the construction process of the yacht. Every involved partner of the German team can rely on our commitment to bring our knowledge into this project”, says Head of Porsche Consulting Eberhard Weiblen. In the next weeks a team with a responsible coordinator of Technique will be positioned on the German Base in Valencia.
‘SUI 91’ becomes ‘GER 91’ In the past weeks, the German team was able to purchase ‘SUI 91’, one of the most recent yachts of Cup winner Alinghi. “We now possess a very fast boat right from the beginning”, says skipper Karol Jablonski. In the next weeks SUI 91 will change sites from the Swiss to the German base in Valencia. The German team is one of the first challengers to start training for the 33. America’s Cup. “Time is crucial in the America’s Cup. And it’s in our favour”, Jablonski realises.
Big day for the German sailing sport The ‘Deutsche Challenger Yacht Club’ (DCYC) has officially announced its second participation in the America’s Cup on the 5th of August 2007 and laid the foundation for a successful continuation in the 33. America’s Cup in Valencia. “Today a dream comes true for the German sailing sport. Not only will the campaign be continued, but Jochen Schümann and Karol Jablonski were introduced to the team, and the great commitment of United Internet AG, Audi AG and Porsche Consulting are giving many reasons to look forward to the 33. America’s Cup”, says Willy Kuhweide, commodore of the ‘Deutsche Challenger Yacht Club’. “We would especially like to thank Ralph Dommermuth. Thanks to his personal commitment Germany became part of the legendary America’s Cup”, says the German sailing legend.
Inset image: 'UITG Press Conference' Photo © UITG 2007