Head of Swedish Victory Challenge Syndicate Dead

Jan Stenbeck, 59, dies of a heart attack in Paris

The Associated Press and other sources are reporting that Jan Stenbeck, head of the Swedish Victory Challenge, died of a heart attack Monday evening in Paris while being treated for an unrelated illness at the American Hospital. He was 59.

Bengt Jörnstedt, editor of the Swedish sailing magazine Segling has told Sailing World that although Stenbeck was the heart of the challenge, he believes the Victory Challenge syndicate will continue in its quest for the America's Cup.

Stenbeck was also the founder and chairman of a number of Swedish companies, including mobile phone operator Invik & Co., Tele2, MTG, Millicom International, and Transcom WorldWide. He was the chairman of the management company Industrifoervaltnings AB Kinnevik. He originally became involved in the America’s Cup as a sponsor of the Swedish challenge in 1992.

Stenbeck also owned a true piece of America’s Cup history, the 83-foot wooden powerboat Black Knight, which presided over the American loss of the Cup in 1983 as the NYYC Committee boat.