Team Alinghi Wins America's Cup
Team Alinghi Wins America's Cup
Team Alinghi made a clean sweep of the America's Cup with a 5-0 score against the Defender, Team New Zealand. Alinghi makes history by bringing the America's Cup back to Europe for the first time in 152 years.
AUCKLAND - March 2, 2003 - Race 5 of the 31st America's Cup started in perfect sailing conditions. Steady northerly winds of 12-14 knots and brilliant sunshine and blue skies on the Hauraki Gulf set the stage for history-in-the-making. Team Alinghi sailed triumphantly to victory and won the America's Cup for Switzerland. For the first time in 152 years, the Cup will go to Europe. No other challenger has ever won the America's Cup on the first attempt and Team Alinghi is the first Swiss team to ever compete in the America's Cup Regatta.
In the easy seaway, a change from the choppy waves that have dominated this series, Team New Zealand showed solid crew work but Alinghi sailed at a higher angle in the steady mid-range conditions to stretch out a comfortable lead on the first leg. Team New Zealand put up a good fight and closed down on the Swiss boat's lead on legs 2 and 3, but throughout the race, Alinghi's crew work was precise and they covered every manoeuvre of NZL 82. Then disaster struck Team New Zealand sailors, who have been beleaguered by gear failure in this series. Midway on the fourth leg, the carbon fibre spinnaker pole snapped on the forestay during a gybe. Alinghi set up for a convincing advantage, carrying on their smooth and flawless performance. The sailors onboard SUI 64 powered the yacht triumphantly over the finish line 45 seconds ahead of Team New Zealand to win the oldest trophy in sport and f
Throughout the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup regattas, Alinghi has proven that with single-minded determination, focus on strong teamwork between all departments, thorough testing and preparation, and innovative management style, the team has constructed a fantastic package capable of winning the America's Cup. Team Alinghi will carry this formula for success into the future.
QUOTES FROM THE BOAT
RUSSELL COUTTS, HELMSMAN - "I'm immensely proud of what we've achieved. What you have to realize is that two and a half years ago there was nothing. I don't think the design team have been given enough credit - this boat is so different from most of the other boats in this competition. We also never had any major gear failures and we have the shore crew to thank for that."
JOCHEN SCHUEMANN, STRATEGIST - "I think there was never any doubt in my mind that we would win today. We had the faster boat, the better start and we sailed better. It was a very well deserved win for an exceptional team."
PIETER VAN NIEWENHUYZEN, GRINDER - "This is fantastic - the most unbelievable thing I've ever done. We had a great start and that gave us a really good feeling. Although we led throughout the race, the pressure was still on the whole way round. It hasn't sunk in yet - I guess it will tomorrow!"
ROLF VROLIJK, PRINCIPAL DESIGNER - "I'm so impressed with all the team and it feels terrific to have designed this boat! There was no question today as to which boat was faster!"
AUDIO AVAILABLE ON SERVER This press service is intended for Radio stations, television stations that would like to illustrate their images with fresh interviews, Internet sites, as well as journalists of the written press will be able to "feel" the ambience among the team at the close of this competition. The high definition digital audio files (mp3 format) will be at your disposal via Internet server and rapid downloading systems or on request by ISDN line. The sound will be approximately 2 minutes long.