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Alinghi Welcomes Golden Gate Yacht Club Challenger



AUCKLAND, 1 MARCH 2003, As the Swiss challenger Alinghi crossed the finish line today to win the America's Cup for the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), Commodore Pierre-Yves Firmenich received a formal challenge for the next Cup from the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) of San Francisco. GGYC, the club which backed Larry Ellison's ORACLE BMW Racing Team in the 2003 competition, becomes the "Challenger of Record" for the 32nd America's Cup. The Challenger of Record negotiates the rules for the next
event with the Defender, representing the interests of all eventual challengers.

Commodore Pierre Yves Firmenich said, " Société Nautique de Genève is proud to be taking the Cup event back to Europe for the first time since 1851. It is a great honor to have Golden Gate Yacht Club, and Mr. Ellison's ORACLE BMW Racing Team, as partners with our club, Ernesto Bertarelli and team Alinghi as we go forward with planning for the next event."

Bill Erkelens, ORACLE BMW Racing's General Manager, said that the negotiations between SNG and GGYC representatives had gone smoothly. "Ernesto Bertarelli and Larry Ellison share the same vision and values for modernizing the Cup. Everyone connected with our Club and ORACLE BMW are excited to be working with Societe Nautique de Geneve and Alinghi as their Challenger of Record."

A press conference will be held on Tuesday, March 4 at the Alinghi Base in Auckland, New Zealand to announce details of the "Protocol" which describes the challenge details and other ground rules for the next America's Cup event.


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