Team Alinghi set up winter base in Dubai and start training today 20/11/06

 Alinghi, Defender of the 32nd America’s Cup, kicked off its winter training today in Dubai see previous story here. 

This event marks the start of the winter training for the Swiss team as the work shifts from shore set-up to on-water, two-boat testing and crew training.

Butterworth, team skipper commented: “We are here to continue developing the boats, so we’ll be doing more testing, but also to train as a race crew, so there will be more racing too? the focus will move from testing to race training.

“The weather conditions here are the reason we have come, they almost exactly emulate the conditions in Valencia, Spain in June, which is when the America’s Cup Match will be next year.”

Transfering the team base from Dubai from Valencia was a complex affair which began with the transportation of the contents of the Alinghi compound on a 3,500 ton cargo ship on 23 October. The route took it through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, on into the Arabian Gulf and through the Straits of Hormuz to arrive 18 days and 4,600 nautical miles later in Jebel Ali Port of Dubai. The shore crew set up the temporary base at the Dubai International Marine Club with a boatshed, sail loft, 10 workshop containers, the two America’s Cup Class racing yachts, masts, keels, no less than 65 sails and everything else that is needed to get the boats out sailing everyday.

The team is now up and running with a typical day at the Alinghi base as follows: Gym call for the sailors is at 0700. The shore crew prepare the racing yachts to launch for mid-day and testing will run until just before darkness falls at about 1730. The general programme is a six-day week; five days testing and one of race training.

Alinghi will be in Dubai until late February when the team will return to Valencia to continue training for the America’s Cup Match, which will be from the 23 June-7 July.