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Alinghi Will Race Against Prada


Louis Vuitton Cup Quarter-Finals

Alinghi Will Race Against Prada

Team Alinghi, winner of the two Round Robins, has earned the right to choose their opponent in the quarter-finals. Alinghi has decided to race against the Italian team, Prada Challenge.

AUCKLAND - November 4, 2002 - As the winner of the qualifying rounds, Round Robin 1 and 2, Alinghi has the right to pick their opponent for the quarterfinals. The three other challengers at the top of the overall rankings are Oracle, One World and Prada. Alinghi won one and lost one against both Oracle and One World. Alinghi has raced against Prada only once, but it was an extremely close competition. The format of the Louis Vuitton Cup is such that Alinghi will sail only one team in the quarter-finals.

It was a difficult decision to make, as the three teams all have two strong boats to race. Also, no one knows which boat the challengers will use in the quarter-finals, until it is announced 24 hours before the start of the races. Team Alinghi decided to face Prada Challenge. They are a prestigious team, notably the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000. The quarterfinals will be held November 12 to November 19, the best of seven.

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QUOTES FROM THE BOAT

MICHEL BONNEFOUS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - “The choice was difficult to make because the three teams are all at the highest level of competition. We chose Prada, taking into account all of the relevant parameters. We believe that Prada is the logical choice to race at this stage of the competition. We expect it to be an extraordinary series of matches, sure to incite passion and excitement in Europe.”

BERNARD LABRO, SAILING TEAM MEMBER - “It will be a tight race because Prada is a strong competitor. The Italians have never stopped sailing since the last Cup, and they have been improving their technical skills the whole time. They have developed good crew maneuvering, and great boat handling. We will be as concentrated against the Italians as in any other race.”

GRANT SIMMS, DESIGN TEAM COORDINATOR - “We think Prada has made the biggest improvements since the start of the competition. We wait with interest to see which boat they will choose. Our objective is to continue our own improvements and development program.”

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