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Unveiling Day At Team Alinghi


Unveiling Day At Team Alinghi

AUCKLAND - February 11, 2003 - Hundreds of visitors arrived at the Alinghi base for Unveiling Day to observe the latest configuration SUI 64.

Since Team Alinghi's victory in the Louis Vuitton Cup on January 19, the Team has made small modifications to the America's Cup Class yacht that they will sail in the America's Cup.

With only four days remaining before the first Cup race on February 15, there was a buzz in the air at the base and the Unveiling Ceremony started at 8:00 local time after light breakfast refreshments were served.

To the spectators' surprise and delight, five young cancan dancers sparked off the light-hearted affair with a rousing dance performance.

In front of the focal point of the skirted yacht, brightly dressed girls kicked their legs high in the air to the beat of cancan music with traditional French flair. Smiles broke out on the faces in the audience, toes t ly European flavor to the Alinghi unveiling. At 9:00 Team New Zealand revealed NZL 82, the boat the have chosen to sail in the America's Cup. In a bid for speed, the boat sports the "hula," the appendage fixed to the hull that increases the boat's sailing length but also increases the wetted surface area resulting in more drag. Another attention-grabbing feature on NZL 82 was the long, thin bulb with flames painted down the sides. Those who missed the event can re-live the Unveiling Day by watching the webcast on the site, www.alinghi.com.

CREW QUOTES

GRANT SIMMER - DESIGN COORDINATOR : "We won't know how SUI 64 and NZL 82 measure up until the America's Cup starts. Team New Zealand have a low volume hula appendage, their rudder is similar to ours in area, but it is shorter, the fin is considerably smaller than ours and the bulb is extremely long. It looks like their hull hasn't changed, it is still the wide, fairly rounded, moderate hull shape we have seen. NZL 82 looks like a competitive boat"

MANUEL RUIZ DE ELVIRA - DESIGNER : "Comparing SUI 64 to NZL 82, we like the boat we have. NZL 82 has a longer bulb, which is fast in straight-line speed because the center of gravity is lower, but it will make maneuvering more difficult in the pre-start sequences and tacking duels. The hula is the same as they unveiled before the Louis Vuitton Finals. SUI 64 is a dream boat; we're happy to have a good all around boat."

CURTIS BLEWETT - FOREDECK : "The boats are very different, and we know one team will have got it right and one team is going to get it wrong. I am just excited to get on with it and the team is ready to start racing in the America's Cup. We won't know how fast Team New Zealand will be until we meet on the water, but we're ready to get back to racing. "


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