The Areva Group will spend r15 million as main sponsor for the French yacht "Le Défi" for the America's Cup 2003. The French team has been named "Défi Areva".
Xavier de Lesquen, executive director of the Défi Areva team, said: "It's a great moment for Le Défi. The association with Areva is essential. Areva gives Le Défi the means to see concrete results from four years of work, including the very intense last 18 months, when we carried on from our participation in the America's Cup 2000." Predictably, radical environmentalist groups are unhappy with Areva's involvement. One group has said that the boat would "never arrive" in Aukland unless Areva dropped its sponsorship. Greenpeace in New Zealand has condemned acts of violence against the French challenge but not ruled out its own non-violent protests, including the disruption of races.