Alinghi.com catches up with Bertrand Cardis, the man behind the Décision boat yard, Alinghi's partner yard during its ten years of America's Cup campaigns.
Alinghi during the third stop of the Challenge Julius Baer 2010 on the D35 boat with the Open de Versoix
Bertrand, it has been 10 years since the Alinghi adventure began...
Can you describe the Décision boat yard evolution over the last 10 years?
When Alinghi challenged 10 years ago our yard was still based in Fenil sur Corsier above Vevey and we had just bought our first large oven. On meeting the Alinghi design team we of course had to demonstrate that we had the capacity and the savoir faire to build a boat capable of winning the America's Cup. At that stage we had built racing yachts, notably for the Whitbread (now the Volvo Ocean Race), but never an America's Cup Class boat.
Alinghi put their trust in us and we built their two America's Cup winning boats. We learnt an enormous amount during the 10 year relationship and the quality of production at Décision S.A reached unprecedented levels, something that allows us to bring experience and established reputation to leading projects today.
Has the Alinghi adventure paved the way for Switzerland to develop new abilities?
The Geneva-Rolle-Geneva distance race, was sandwiched between the two days of the Open de Versoix - once again conditions were light and Alinghi finished 6th overall
Well I would say that the basic competencies existed already in Switzerland, but they have been reinforced by Alinghi over the years. The team's numerous victories have allowed businesses in the Lake area to showcase their abilities; there had always been a lot of research projects, but the platform to put the research to the test had been missing. Alinghi gave meaning to many of these projects. The businesses of the Lake Geneva region that participated in the Alinghi adventure retain pride in a job well done, notoriety and recognition.
What were the best moments for you over the last 10 years?
Without any doubt the two weekends during which the team was created. With the impetus of Ernesto [Bertarelli], a group of us got together during the Spring of 2000 to create the team, define its values and commit to paper the fundamental principals that got the team off the ground and subsequently carried it to victory. I remember a tremendous feeling of energy for a common cause, incredible creativity and motivation.
Of course the moments of victory were extraordinary as well, they were the climax of the team's work and commitment. All that worry and thousands of hours of work coming to fruition, it's magical.
Alinghi in the Challenge Julius Baer 2010
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