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UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour: A great partnership

UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour: A great partnership

The UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour has sparked massive interest, with 93 teams rushing to sign up for the five qualifying match races that will make them 2005 Swiss Match Racing Champion. Faced with this overwhelming demand, the Tour had to close entries at 42 inscriptions, which include Olympic medalists, youth sailors from Swiss Sailing, as well as a good number of match racing pros. The first event is in Zurich (14-16 May), then Thoune, Lugano, Romanshorn and Geneva, with a final in Valencia in November.

The 42 teams will race in Streamlines – a modern three-crew boat which is very quick in light airs. The five winners of the qualifying events will fight for the title of Swiss Match Racing Champion 2005 in Valencia, in November. On top of this, the best teams from the Zurich regatta will be able to participate in the International Match Race in St Moritz.

Calafat, Frei and Mitchell will race in Zurich

Alinghi will be represented in Zurich 14-16 May by Jordi Calafat, Nils Frei and Matt Mitchell. Jordi was Olympic Champion in Barcelona in 1992, and is one of Alinghi’s strategists. He is delighted to be racing in Zurich: “I have no experience racing Streamlines,” he explains. “And I haven’t raced with Nils and Matt on these boats before, also I know nothing about the conditions on the Lake in Zurich – so it’s going to be very interesting.” He is however in good company: Zurich is Nils’ home waters and he has sailed against most of the competitors signed up to race. He comments: “Streamlines are new to us, so it will be a challenge and hopefully lots of fun.” Matt agrees with him: “I am looking forward to my first Streamline experience.” For this New-Zealander – this really is a leap into the unknown.

The Alinghi results won’t be taken into account in the final results of the Swiss Championship, but there are several teams for them to watch out for; Team Erni and Team Rast are both strong contenders. Lukas Erni, Simon Brügger and Ernst Knuchel sailed 470s at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and again in Athens in 2004. Chris Rast is also an Olympic sailor, in 470s in Atlanta and in 49ers in Athens, he will race the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour with Alain Stettler and Wolf Dietz.

The first stage of the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour, from the 14-16 May in Zurich, is not just a water-based event. Thanks to the partnership of UBS (Main partner), Kronenbourg, Franke and Nespresso, there will be some shore-side entertainment; come and take full advantage of a Match Racing Simulator and a grinding pedastal, both of which will put your tactics and strength to the test!

Team Alinghi sails for Switzerland and flies the colours of the Société Nautique de Genève. Its partners for the 2007 campaign are UBS and BT Infonet (Main Partners), as well as Audemars Piguet, SGS, Nespresso, MSC Cruises and North Sails (Co sponsors). Visit our web site at: www.alinghi.com

ENDS

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