Tribune de Genéve: The mystery on the giant Alinghi multihull will be lifted early July
The Tribune de Genève, Geneva's main newspaper published an article this morning shedding some additional light on the much-awaited giant Alinghi multihull. We now know that the launch of the yacht will probably take place in two weeks, we have heard July 7th as a plausible date, and a series of public events will then take place in Switzerland, culminating in the yacht's christening ceremony in her "home", the Société Nautique de Genève, on August 1st.
According to the same article, Alinghi is in negotiations with several possible venues (Dubai, Oman, Turkey), all in the Northern hemisphere. It appears that Ernesto Bertarelli is not so keen on holding the event in Valencia. If this is true, it would be in direct contradiction to his public statement, made less than 4 months ago, here in Valencia. Bertarelli had stated that "if the American team wins [the legal case] then Valencia will have a unique and spectacular event with two giant boats and that will be again a mark in the very very long history of the America's Cup."
Last but not least, since the America's Cup is a chess game where sailing is simply a part of it, one can only wonder with the author's closing sentence of the article. One can argue that BMW Oracle might, potentially, be wrong in their assertion the judge's decision requires Alinghi to choose Valencia or go to the Southern hemisphere but to state that the American yacht "had to be seriously reviewed and corrected after several months of inconclusive tests" is pure speculation. Are we the only ones to sense some Swiss patriotism and pro-Alinghi PR? Well, that's part of the game as well.
Read the entire article here below.
The mystery on the giant Alinghi multihull will be lifted early July
Nothing has been really filtered on the revolutionary boat built in Villeneuve, to be launched on the lake in less than two weeks. One month later, Alinghi will announce the location of the duel against BMW Oracle scheduled for February 2010.
This expectation is cruel, unbearable for sailing enthusiasts, eager to discover the 30-meter long giant multihull that was built in the past year on a site specially designed for Alinghi in Villeneuve. The secret was well kept and the mystery surrounding this revolutionary, even extreme according to some, boat will certainly mark the long history of the America's Cup.
Nearly sixty people, engineers, architects, consultants, composite specialists and builders are working on this "sea monster" designed for the duel that should oppose the winner of the Cup to its American challenger BMW Oracle in February 2010. Everyone who had the chance to enter the site in recent months underwent "brainwashing" on the way out. All mouths shut. It’s complete amnesia until D-day.
Christening on August 1st
The countdown has begun. The launch of the boat on Lake Geneva is scheduled during the second week of July at a date not yet fixed since it depends on weather conditions. This delicate operation requires careful preparation. A Russian helicopter capable of air transporting a load of several tons had to be called. Alinghi plans to moor the multihull during few weeks off Bouveret.
The Alinghi design team, coordinated by Grant Simmer, will proceed with the sailing team to a series of tests on water in order to determine what, if any, improvements to the boat could be made after the first few hours of navigation. Several events will take place on Lake Geneva in the summer, including a first ceremony at Ouchy on August 1st, followed by a "boat parade" to Geneva where the giant multihull will be presented to the general public off the Société Nautique.
Shakedown sail for Ed Baird and crew on SUI 6 in lead up to the Challenge Julius Baer. Nyon, 4 May 2009. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi / Alinghi
Many unknowns still remain about the duel of the 33rd America's Cup. The legal battle has calmed down since the Court of Appeal of the State of New York upheld the ruling by Justice Cahn issued in November 2007. BMW Oracle is the new Challenger of Record. The multihull challenge was accepted by Alinghi on the 23rd of April. It must take place no later than February 2010 in Valencia or any other place selected by Société Nautique de Genève and announced six months in advance, that is no later than 8 August 2009.
Sailing in February in the northern hemisphere considerably reduces the possibilities. Valencia doesn’t seem to be the Defender’s favorite place to organize the best-of-three-races Deed of Gift Match. Ernesto Bertarelli, together with the design team, are looking for (or have already found) the best place to sail in winter. Wind conditions should be fairly stable and suitable to the characteristics of the Swiss multihull. There has been talk of Dubai, Oman, Turkey. Negotiations, that also cover financial aspects, are underway. We will have to wait until the 7th or 8th of August to know the answer.
However, BMW Oracle denies Alinghi the right to choose a site other than Valencia in the Northern Hemisphere in February, since the rules stipulate that the match can not take place before May 1st in the North.
Nevertheless, the verdict is clear. It does not require the Defender to choose a location in the Southern hemisphere. As Americans want Valencia, they are trying to interpret the judge's decision as it fits them in order to maintain the uncertainty and pressure on their rival. An attitude that betrays a loss of confidence after the setbacks recorded with their giant multihull "Godzilla", which had to be seriously reviewed and corrected after several months of inconclusive tests.