FB - So how come you’re here at Yachting Key West Race Week doing your first major regatta in the Melges 24 Class?

AG - I haven’t sailed now for about 2 months and I got asked to sail with some American’s who’d raced with us in the IACC boats during Skandia Life Cowes Week. They asked me to do a return trip and sail with them in the Melges 24 here at Key West. With 60 boats competing I think its going to be great fun.

FB – Are you helming?

AG - I’m not. Peter Stoneberg, a US West Coast based Farr 40 owner is helming and I’ll be supporting him. We only put the crew together about 6 weeks ago when we realised how high the standard and quality of the fleet was going to be which will really help him to improve the level of his big boat sailing. I think it’s going to be an incredibly competitive week.

FB – Who do you think are the main contenders for this year’s title?

AG – Obviously the Americans are strong, particularly Dave Ullman, Mark Reynolds and Brian Porter. Of the Europeans Rob Smith and Mike Budd are both excellent as are the Italian team who are here. It should be great fun sailing against them all.

FB – So what are you up to after this regatta?

AG – Back home to England. We’ve got a few projects we’re working on in England. There’s the Admiral’s Cup and hopefully something will happen with the British America’s Cup Project.

FB – So the AC project is not yet dead?

No, there’s still some life in it but I think the end of January will be the final cut off date. If it’s going to happen it will happen by then. My view is that any campaign is better than nothing and if we get there late then we’ve got two years before we start our next campaign so we get that two year’s jump. I think we need to be as positive about it as possible. There are people who want to put money into an America’s Cup Campaign, want to have fun and spend their money at the very highest and most glamorous level of sailing. I think the fun element is the most important thing for them and, if a Campaign does happen, as well as doing well I want to see that the people putting money in have a good time and don’t get caught up in politics or any uncertainty about where the project’s going. I think if we can achieve that it will be something very positive that can be taken on into the future. If you are going to do the America’s Cup you’ve got to look at a 10 year programme as the Kiwis did 15 years ago. We’ve got all the skill resources to do it we just to get the ball rolling.

FB – Well in the meantime a bit of relaxing Melges 24 sailing to get away from it all.

AG – If you can call sailing in a 60 boat fleet of this quality relaxing. I think it’s going to totally fry my brain!

FB – Andy thanks for taking the time to talk to us, and good luck here in Key West and with your British America’s Cup Challenge.