Team Alinghi to move from Valencia to Dubai for winter training 27/9/06

 Sixty members of Team Alinghi including including, sailors, designers and shorecrew, will leave their base in Valencia and move to Dubai in November. Two boats will also be ‘shipped out’ – SUI64 and possibly the team’s new boat SUI91 ¬- ready to commence training by the end of November.

Brad Butterworth, team skipper, chatting on the Alinghi website about why the team chose Dubai as a training location commented: “Last year we sailed in Valencia for most of the winter and we found that the conditions we need to test got very difficult from October and didn’t get better until April. We struggled to get any worthwhile testing done and really it was a waste of time.

“For this winter we looked further afield and our met office, Jon Bilger and his team drew up a short list of locations and came back with the Caribbean or Dubai. Grant [Simmer] then went and visited several of the locations and we chose Dubai.”

Ed Baird, helmsman, explains the meteorological reasons, comparing it to golf: “A lot of people, who understand the game of golf, realise that in winter, the ball doesn’t travel as far because the air is more dense. It is the same thing in sailing. The 12 knot wind that propels our boats in the winter months is different to the 12 knot wind that propels our boats in the summer months and we don’t want to develop equipment that is super-fast in 12 knots of cold air and find out that it doesn’t work so well in warm air.”

Team Alinghi will return to Valencia in February next year.