Leverkusen, Germany–illbruck Challenge, Germany s professional sailing team and current leader of the Volvo Ocean Race, is discontinuing all its preparations for America´s Cup XXXI effective immediately. It would have been the first-ever German participation in the 151-year old America´s Cup, the oldest trophy in sport and also one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world. Despite intensive efforts to find a corporate sponsor, a commercial partner has not been found to finance the campaign, Michael Illbruck, 42, CEO of the international company illbruck GmbH and Chairman of the illbruck Challenge, announced today.
This decision to discontinue plans for the Americas Cup, which starts October 1 in Auckland, New Zealand with the Louis Vuitton Challenger Selection Series, in no way impacts the teams current successful participation in the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World 2001-2002, Illbruck said. The illbruck Challenge is the overall race leader with four of the nine legs completed. The race, which finishes in Kiel June, 9 2002, is now in its fifth stage from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Miami, Florida, USA.
The illbruck Challenge is a professional international sailing team and an extension of the illbruck-supported PINTA racing teams that over the past 30 years have earned success at many of the worlds top regattas. The illbruck Challenge was representing the Duesseldorf Yacht Club in Germany s first-ever Challenge for the Americas Cup, the competition for the oldest international trophy in sport.