Friday, June 27, 2008

Alinghi starts two-boat training with ORMA60 multi-hulls in Lorient

[Source: Alinghi] Alinghi, Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, begins the next phase of training towards a possible multi-hull Deed of Gift Match in 2009 and steps up a gear to two-boat training with the ORMA60s Foncia and Banque Populaire IV in Lorient, France, from 30 June until 5 July.

The Swiss team intends to continue its big boat and multi-hull development through this platform: “We now need to hone our boat handling skills, manoeuvres and mark approaches by matching up to another boat,” says Alinghi team skipper and tactician Brad Butterworth. “Having crew on both ORMA60s will increase our learning curve exponentially and marks the beginning of our two-boat training programme towards a multi-hull America’s Cup.”

The sailing team has been multi-hull training for several months racing the eXtreme40s and the Décision35s respectively in the iShares Cup and in the Lake Geneva based Julius Baer Challenge and it now looks forward to training alongside such an accomplished sailing team.

“We are very pleased to have such high calibre boats to train with; both Foncia and Banque Populaire IV are accomplished race boats and we look forward to a summer of two-boat training and to gaining as much crewing and big boat experience as possible before getting on to our multi-hull sometime at the end of the year. We are looking forward to working with the Banque Populaire team and hope the training will be mutually beneficial to both sailing teams,” adds Butterworth.

Alinghi was in Lorient in March sailing Foncia with skipper Alain Gautier and will return again in July and throughout the summer to match up against Banque Populaire IV, skippered by Pascal Bidégorry.

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