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The Christening Of Alinghi

Bernard Schopfer
Press officer
T : +41-22-908 27 82
F : +41-22-908 27 88



GENEVA, 11th May 2001. Ernesto Bertarelli unveils the colours and the new identity of the Swiss Challenge for the America’s Cup, in the presence of members of the syndicate.

"We have chosen ‘passion red’ to express our determination, and anthracite grey to symbolize state-of-the-art technology. As for ‘Alinghi’, it’s an imaginary name that has brought me good luck", declares Ernesto Bertarelli.
Nine months after the official launch of the Swiss Challenge, the syndicate is christened "Alinghi", Swiss Challenge for the America’s Cup. Today, it brings together 85 professionals of whom 26 are sailors and the same amount boatbuilders, all of them united and determined to bring the America’s Cup to Europe.

Under the experienced eye of skipper Russell Coutts and tactician Brad Butterworth, the 26 crewmembers train in Geneva; training that is as physical as it is tactical. Soon, they will be sailing in the Mediterranean, off Sète, on their training boat SUI 59 refitted by the Swiss boat yard Decision S.A. This boat, it’s double keel removed, now sports a classic rudder.

The concept of this Class America has brought together the skills of engineers, designers, top technicians, as well as the know-how of researchers at the EPFL (Polytechnic School of Lausanne).

"We have a multidisciplined syndicate, at the cutting edge of technology", declares Executive Director Michel Bonnefous.

Alinghi’s appeal goes beyond the frontiers of sport. Convinced by the professionalism of the syndicate, ‘UBS’, the third largest bank in the world in business turnover, and Infonet, one of the top specialists in communication management, have joined the Alinghi Team as main partners. Three co-sponsors and many official ‘suppliers’ have also expressed their confidence by committing themselves to the competition with Alinghi.

The 500 days that separate the Swiss Challenge from the first regatta of the Louis Vuitton Cup will be put to good use in building two boats for the competition and to the continued training of the crew. Michel Bonnefous says: "United by our team spirit, we’re keeping cool and concentrating on our objectives. We’re looking forward to defending Swiss colours in Auckland in the best possible conditions".

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Alinghi, Swiss Challenge for the America’s Cup, was born out of passion and determination. The strong will to build a team capable of winning the America’s Cup in 2003. And - for the first time in the history of this competition- to bring the silver Trophy to Europe.

Team Alinghi is flying the Swiss flag, and carrying the colours of the Société Nautique de Genève.

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