Sunday, December 7, 2008

No Bailout for Team Germany...

- BERLIN - Car manufacturers Audi have withdrawn their sponsorship of Team Germany effectively ending the German sailing team's bid to win the America's Cup, but co-ordinator Jochen Schuemann has insisted he will fight on.

"I will not give up on the German flag," triple Olympic champion Schuemann told die Welt as the search begins for a new main sponsor.

Audi have withdrawn their financial backing due to the world economic crisis, leaving the sailing team's dreams of America's Cup success in tatters.

Team Germany challenged for the Cup in 2007 and Schuemann, who was part of the successful Cup campaigns with Alinghi in both 2003 and 2007, joined shortly after the Swiss team beat Team New Zealand in Valencia in July 2007.

Schuemann was given the bad news last week that Audi had withdrawn as main sponsors.
"We wanted to meet with Audi last week, however I got a call the night before saying there was now no need to come," said Schuemann.

Schuemann has already withdrawn Team Germany from next February's Pacific Series event in Auckland for America's Cup yachts.

Alinghi plan to hold the 33rd edition of the world's oldest yachting competition in 2010 and have set December 15 as the deadline for teams to register for the competition.

But there remains one unresolved issue: the fate of the American Oracle-BMW Racing team, who have taken their argument that the new race format favours Alinghi to the Court of Appeal in New York.

Their case is to be heard on February 10 next year. - AFP