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1999 sees a new challenge structure with a dynamic, resourceful and youthful syndicate. Originally called "Yaka," ( French slang for 'just do it' ) the syndicate is the brainchild of Luc Gellusseau and Pierre Mas, of Corum Sailing Team fame.
Gellusseau who now runs the technical and design team, has managed to group together the best bits of the previous French challenges along with a large quantity of new, young talent. He and Mas realised that it was important to stay out of French national politics and to that end the syndicate is a relatively small budget operation.
|Size||61 cm L x 102 cm Hgh|
|Historic Note||The sponsorship was supplied early by two technology companies, Bouygues Telecom and Transiciel. Le Defi, as it is now called, only dreamt of building one boat and are well organised, completely transparent and very motivated. Bertrand Pacé is at the helm|
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William Starling Burgess no doubt inherited his love of boats and sailing from his father as well as his sharp analytical mind. He also acquired his precise and sensitive feeling for lines and forms from Nathanael Herreshoff, his “Uncle Nat”. But when the young Starling informed Herreshoff of his intention to become a naval architect, “the Wizard of Bristol” took umbrage.
When Mike Vanderbilt contacted him to build a new defender for the 1934 challenge, time was very short. No matter ! He started on the rough drafts of the plans at end of 1931 and Rainbow very nearly failed in the face of a faster challenger, Endeavour.
Starling Burgess came out of it quite well, Charles Nicholson even offering him the plans of his champion. His gesture was to prove quite unwise.