America's Cup Match - Day 0: Alinghi announces crewlist; Ed Baird to helm SUI-100
A mere 24 hours are left till the 32nd America's Cup Match and Friday was a day of press conferences in Port America's Cup. The action kicked off at 9:30am at the Alinghi base where the Defender of the America's Cup had summoned the press to talk abut the upcoming match and announce the helmsman that will face Dean Barker starting tomorrow Saturday.
As we have repeatedly stated in this website, the name of Alinghi's helmsman in the final match was considered to be Valencia's "worst kept secret". Since a couple of months Ed Baird was widely thought to be the sailor nominated for that position and Brad Butterworth's announcement just confirmed the rumor. It is officially going to be the American Ed Baird that will helm SUI-100 in Alinghi's quest to defend the America's Cup. No surprises then from the Swiss team.
Butterworth insisted on the difficulty of his task and choosing the helmsman was the most difficult part. In fact, he took the decision only 6 weeks ago, after 3 long years of official and in-house racing. According to him, his relation with Baird is excellent and both of them will make sure Emirates Team NZ suffer in the race course.
The rest of the conference didn't provide the large number of journalists with any information they didn't already know. All three men, went on the usual pre-race talk, stating how difficult it was going to be, how hard they have been training in the last months and how confident they felt 24 hours before the match.
Both Alinghi's boats were lowered into the water at 1pm in order for the Defender to go out for the last training before the match.
The Alinghi Trinity in today's press conference. From left, Grant Simmer (Managing Director and Design Coordinator), Ernesto Bertarelli (Syndicate Head) and Brad Butterworth (Skipper and Tactician). Valencia, 22 June 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Alinghi's starting crew for the 32nd America's Cup match
|Bowman||Pieter van Nieuwenhuyzen|
|Mainsail trimmer||Warwick Fleury|
|Strategist / traveller||Murray Jones|
|Runner / pitman||Dean Phipps|
|Runner / grinder||Rodney Ardern|
|Afterguard – Runner||Ernesto Bertarelli|