Mark Mc Teigue
Will Mac Carthy
Enrico De Maria
Pieter Van Nieuwenhuysen
Supporters and Affiliates:
Moet & Chandon
Photo: © Chuck Lantz 2003
Going into the the 31st Defense of the America's Cup in 2003, many
observers thought Alinghi would win it all. They had a strong team
built around the core of Team New Zealand's America's Cup winning sailors,
plus some of the best European crewmembers, coupled with essentially
bottomless financial resources from one of the world's richest men.
Coming out strong in the early rounds, second only to OneWorld, Alinghi
pulled ahead of the pack and made the LVC Final in a manner that
looked so overwhelming, some felt the team was still holding back their
real potential. In the Louis Vuitton Cup match Oracle gained on
Alinghi downwind and chased them upwind, but Alinghi rarely made mistakes
in either tactics or execution and beat Oracle 5-1. After a
dominating 5-0 romp in the America's Cup match over struggling defender
Team New Zealand, Alinghi looked no less intimidating.
The prospect of facing such
a tough team, now armed with all the inherent advantages that accrue to a
defender, will demand the best from prospective challengers between now
The strong get stronger,
With their strong showing in 2003, it would be a natural expectation that
the team feels confident about their chances in 2007 and will continue
advancing on the same course that led to victory in 2003. Alinghi is
doing nothing of the sort, however. Recognizing that no defender who
did not intensely hone their boats and crew in competition has ever
successfully contested the America's Cup, Alinghi announced a plan to ramp
up to three internal Cup-caliber crews that could train and trial against
each other. The team brought in Peter Holmberg, helmsman from
the very Oracle BMW crew that Alinghi beat to win the 2003 Louis Vuitton
Cup. Other top crew added in 2004 included Mike Drummond and Juan
Vila. Alinghi's design team added strength with Michel Richelson (AOne
'00, illbruck '03) whose narrow bodied ACC design for illbruck is a good
departure point for the demands of the latest version of the class rule.
Internally Jochen Schumann
was named to the newly-created post of Sporting Manager in December, 2003,
and Grant Simmer was designated to take over some management duties as
well, leaving more room for Russell Coutts to focus on the sailing team.
Aliinghi's prize collection
of top talent was dealt a significant blow in June, 2004, though, with the
blockbuster news that Russell Coutts, who had been at the center of the
effort as skipper and leader, was considering leaving the team. The
following month, as the relationship continued to deteriorate, Coutts was
fired by Alinghi.
Aside from whatever soap
opera might have accompanied these events behind the scenes, this move was
an unexpected and very significant change to Alinghi's competitive
landscape, although tactician Brad Butterworth and a number of other loyal
crew that came with Coutts from TNZ plan to remain with Alinghi.
By the fall of 2004, Alinghi
added American Ed Baird, skipper of the NYYC challenger Young
America in 2000. Baird, who spent 2003 broadcasting the Cup with P.J.
Montgomery, is the #1 ranked match racer in the world.
Valencia started in August, 2004, with the team using the
facilities of Real Club Náutico de Valencia. First new boat
to be launched in 2005.
In November, 2003, the team added major sponsors Nespresso and SGS to go along with existing supporters UBS, Infonet, and
Audemars Piguet. Coutts claimed at that time the majority of the Alinghi budget
was in place. The team unveiled a new identity package and boat livery just
UBS Trophy regatta.
Main partners, UBS and Infonet.
Co-Sponsors include: watchmaker Audemars Piguet, Nespresso (a unit of Nestlé),
Italy's MSC Cruises, the technical firm SGS, and North Sails (as official
clothing sponsor). Official suppliers include: S.Pellegrino, Zerorh+
(eyewear), Ansys (software), Schaublin Machines SA (precision machine tools), Solidworks (software), and Colle Massari (beverages).
A story in the Sport Telegraph, April 2004, said that Alinghi was offering
its 2003 design and testing data for the Cup-winning yacht SUI-64 at an
asking price of £1.1 million.
Alinghi was founded in early 2000, following the 31st America's Cup.
Name: "Alinghi" was a non-sense word
Ernesto Bertarelli shared with his sister as children.
SUI-64 in New Zealand
Winner of the 32nd America's Cup
Winner of the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup
Designer: Rolf Vrolijk
Launched : 11/01
|LV Act One:
|LV Act Two:
Match Racing Lifetime: 43-8 .843
LV Act One: 2nd
LV Act Three: 1st
Moet Cup: 2-4 owner, 3-4 pro
UBS Trophy: 2-3 owner, 6-10 pro
Exhibition record: 13-21 .382
Designer: Rolf Vrolijk
2003 Generation boat, modified to ACC v5 for Louis Vuitton Act 4.
2000 generation boat
designers: Phillipe Briand; Peter Van Oosenan. Built for Swiss
Challenger FAST2000 with fore and aft rudders carrying ballast
bulbs, no center keel fin or ballast bulb.
Alinghi modified to conventional keel/rudder, penalized for
measurement issues, used for
training before delivery of 2003 boats. Recently used for
display in Valencia wearing Alinghi livery.