Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alinghi appoints John Barnitt as Sports Director

[Source: Alinghi] Ex-America’s Cup sailor, John Barnitt, joined Alinghi this week as sports director for the sailing team. The American sailor is familiar with the Swiss team having worked for Alinghi during the 31st America’s Cup as starboard grinder.

“I have only been in Valencia for a few days, but it is good to be back. It is great to see some good friends and the colleagues that I worked with on the 31st Cup,” said JB, adding: “my first impressions are that everything seems amazingly well organised and the guys have taken the team from the level that we were at in Auckland and moved one step up from that.”

The 47 year old has enormous depth in the industry, he started his career with Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes in 1987, sailed the infamous 1988 catamaran vs. monohull match and in 1992 experienced the early days of the new AC Class. After some time out, he joined Alinghi in Auckland for the victorious 2003 America’s Cup.

JB’s role as Alinghi sports director will include managing the sailors and helping the team prepare for the next event. “On a day to day basis, I’ll be planning the daily schedule, establishing priorities, organising the physical training and the staffing for the various boats and projects, while supporting the design team needs and aiding with the current development and performance programme for the sailing team.”

What the sailing team say…

Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen, bowman: “I think his experience and being a sailor himself means he knows how things must be for the sailing team. I think he is going to be good for us.”

Nils Frei, trimmer: “He brings huge experience. He has been sailing in the America’s Cup since before I was born! He had experience of the 88 cup in the catamarans and has sailed many different projects, he has good background and organisational skills and it is good to have him back."

John Barnitt (wearing bluejeans) has been appointed as Alinghi's new Sports Director. Valencia, 26 February 2008. Copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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