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Message from the President of Alinghi


Message from the President of the Swiss Confederation to Team Alinghi

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Pascal Couchepin, sent a message of encouragement to Mr. Ernesto Bertarelli and the whole Team Alinghi to wish them good luck and all the best for the America's Cup 2003. On behalf of the Swiss government and the Swiss people, President Pascal Couchepin expressed his warmest congratulations to Team Alinghi for its amazing victory in the Louis-Vuitton Cup. He stressed that "Alinghi's victory is that of a forward-looking nation with an ability to surprise. Alinghi is flying the flag of Switzerland - multicultural, creative and open to the world". "Even if the hardest part still lies ahead, Team Alinghi could win the America's Cup and bring it back to Europe for the first time in 152 years", he added.

Contact person: Mrs. Sylvie Matteucci, Ambassador of Switzerland to New Zealand, tel. 00 64 21 861 670

Message from the President of the Swiss Confederation

Dear Mr. Bertarelli, Dear Alinghi Friends,

On behalf of the Swiss government and the Swiss people, I would once again like to express my warmest congratulations for your amazing victory in the Louis-Vuitton Cup, one of the greatest trophies in the sailing world. For a small country with no access to the sea, this is a remarkable sporting achievement which will stay in peoples' minds for many years to come.

Alinghi's victory is that of a forward-looking nation with an ability to surprise. You are flying the flag of Switzerland - multicultural, open to the world and creative. Multicultural because Team Alinghi's 15 nationalities are typical of a country where a third of the population are foreigners or descendants of immigrants. Open to the world because Switzerland is among the world's top ten foreign investors. Creative because Switzerland has one of the world's highest per capita expenditure in research and development. Indeed, part of Alinghi's success derives from its close scientific co-operation with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

Alinghi's victory is also the victory of team spirit and an attitude which should serve as an example: the choice of action over inaction, of optimism over nostalgia, of openness to the world over inward-looking nationalism. Alinghi embodies a country which is prepared to take risks in order to win.

Dear Alinghi Friends, the hardest part still lies ahead. You could win the America's Cup and bring it back to Europe for the first time in 152 years. You have the overwhelming support of the Swiss government and the Swiss people in your endeavour. Countless Alinghi fans in Switzerland will spend sleepless nights in front of their television screens cheering you along. In spite of the great distance between Switzerland and New Zealand, the whole country's enthusiasm is huge.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to come to Auckland myself. But be sure that I will follow the races with great excitement.

Good luck, and we wish you all the best !

Pascal Couchepin


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