The Swiss announce plans for Deed of Gift Match multihull while kicking off 2008 programme 25/4/08

Alinghi confirmed at a press conference in Valencia its plans to start building an America’s Cup Deed of Gift Match multi-hull, pending the outcome of the legal situation in New York. The Swiss team also kicked off its 2008 sailing programme, focusing on multi-hull racing, and announced several new team members.

“Today we have a way forward: Ernesto [Bertarelli] has committed to building this multi-hull and as long as we can get the pending issues resolved by the New York courts – including a race date in 2009 – we’ll be sailing in a huge multi-hull against BMW Oracle, which is something pretty exciting,” said Brad Butterworth, team skipper and tactician. “We retained most of the sailors that we had from the last America’s Cup – obviously with a slight downsize as we were planning on sailing just one 90footer – and now that we are in a multi-hull challenge, we have new people joining with experience in this area. Alain Gautier for example is helping us and we have Nicolas Texier and Jan Dekker both who have lots of depth.”

“We have a really good sailing plan for this summer that will keep the guys racing, the Mediterranean season is about to crank up. We have the VX40s in Valencia and will be racing the iShares Cup and the D35s on Lake Geneva for the Julius Baer Challenge. This we will supplement with some big boat sailing with Neville Crichton on Alfa Romeo and with Dan Meyer’s on Numbers. There’s going to be some good racing.”

Several new team members have joined Alinghi since July 2007: John ‘JB’ Barnitt (USA), who was with the team during the 31st campaign and rejoined in January this year as sports director; and Alain Gautier, the French multi-hull sailor, who is consulting and coaching the team on the ORMA60 Foncia.

With the addition of these new recruits, Alinghi remains a multinational squad, with more than 20 nationalities represented.