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America's Cup to Go to London for Restoration

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (April 4, 1997) — The America's Cup, badly damaged in a sledgehammer attach on March 14, is scheduled to be flown this weekend from New Zealand to England, where it is expected to be fully restored by the jewellers Garrards of London.

Garrards, which crafted the silver-plated Victorian ewer some 150 years ago, has offered to complete the restoration without charge.

"It is an extremely generous and gracious gesture by Garrards," said John Heise, commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. "This and the approach of Sun Alliance are indicative of the support we have received from around the world since the mindless attack on the Cup."

Garrards has the original drawings of the Cup, which was affectionately dubbed the "Auld Mug" by tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton, who failed in five attempts to wrest the prestigious trophy from New York Yacht Club. For accurate references, Garrards has detailed photography and rubbings that were done just four year ago.

"One of their biggest concern in being able to achieve a full restoration was the damage to the original engravings on the trophy," Heise said.

The restoration process is expected to take approximately eight weeks.

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