Yacht / Country:    Le Defi / France Sailnumber:    FRA-79 Syndicate/Team:   Le Defi Areva CEO: Xavier de Lesquen Yacht Club:  Union Nationale pour la Course au Large Design:  Yaka Design Team Boat Builder: Multiplast Skipper: Pierre Mas
© K. Urtz 2013
After the AC 2000, this was the second participation of the team and the 10th participation of a French yacht club on the America's Cup. As so often, the French had little money and funded the first few months of the remaining budget of 2000. The sponsorship agreement with AREVA, one of the world's largest civilian nuclear group, secured the participation in Auckland. But brought the nuclear opponents to the plan. Especially the Greenpeace group in New Zealand was because of the "Rainbow Warrior" affair extremely sensitized. Before the “Rainbow” was to leave as the flagship of a peace fleet to prevent the French nuclear tests on the Mururoa atoll, it was blown up in Auckland Harbour. The ship sank and a photographer was killed. Very soon it became justified that the French Intelligence Service was involved in this blast. On the first sailing day of FRA-69 Greenpeace activists drove a motorboat to the yacht, which was damaged and had to be repaired for 2 weeks. But before the friendly team successfully acquired the victory yacht from 1995 NZL-32, (which supposedly also Russel Coutts wanted for Alinghi) as a training boat. 
They soon abandoned the plans to train with  FRA-46 as well and stripped its gear for the new FRA-79. Le Defi shared the fate of many low-budget syndicates. The team arrived late in Auckland, had too little time to train there. It was eliminated in the final round of the quarter-finals by Victory Challenge.
FRA-79 Le Defi / France reached the  Quarterfinals of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2003
After the AC 2000 this was the second participation of the team and the 10th participation of a French yacht club
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