Monday, June 30, 2008

Alinghi hires Franck Proffit, French multi-hull sailor

[Source: Alinghi] Franck Proffit, well-known and highly experienced French multi-hull sailor, joins Alinghi, the Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, to assist towards a possible multi-hull Deed of Gift Match.

Alinghi team skipper Brad Butterworth comments on the new appointment: “We welcome Franck to the team and look forward to working with him on developing our multi-hull skills towards the 33rd America’s Cup both on the water and in the design office. His depth of knowledge will complement that of Alain Gautier, Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, and add to the already very strong design and sailing pool we have at Alinghi.”

The Swiss team, while drawing from its current team members, is also applying the knowledge of several multi-hull specialists consulting to both the design and sailing team in preparation for the next Cup. Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret are involved with the former while Alain Gautier sails regularly with Alinghi crew on the ORMA60 Foncia in Lorient.

Alinghi training on board of ORMA60 Foncia and Banque Populaire. Lorient, 30 June 2008. Photo copyright George Johns/Alinghi

The 45 year-old Frenchman, with over 100,000nm of multi-hull racing to his name, brings decades of multi-hull experience to the team; he is a two-time Transat Jacques Vabre winner, four-time Tour de l’Europe winner, winner of The Race and was most recently watch leader, helmsman, sails inventory and operational manager for Groupama 3 during its record breaking 2007-08 season which included a Miami-New York record, North Atlantic record in under 100hours and the 24hour record with 794 miles on the clock.

“Franck brings big multi-hull sailing knowledge and we need to draw from that and apply it to the possible America’s Cup Deed of Gift Match that we face,” concludes Brad.

Franck adds a word on his involvement with Alinghi for a multi-hull campaign: “It's a great opportunity. I am very happy to join Alinghi and with the next America's Cup likely to be held on multi-hulls it's the perfect occasion to put my 20 years of multi-hull experience to good use. I am delighted to work in the America's Cup which is the summit of international sailing. Being part of the design and sailing team is something exceptional. It's a great adventure.

“There is a huge amount of work to do and time is short. It took us more than two years to build Groupama3 and here we have to build a giant multi-hull in a very short lapse of time. We have to optimise very quickly. This is a great team though; I feel closer to Alinghi's values than those of the other teams!” he said.

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