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Swiss welcome for Alinghi's return to Auckland

by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat on 25 Jan 2009
Dr Beat Nobs, Swiss Ambassador to New Zealand, sailing as 18th man Copyright / Alinghi http://www.alinghi.com
Alinghi, the Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, was welcomed back to Auckland at a reception in the city this evening by the Swiss Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr Beat Nobs.

Nobs had just returned from the race course with the crew where he’d been sailing as 18th man for the afternoon: 'It was an awesome and unforgettable personal experience to go sailing with Alinghi today. Just the few hours spent onboard gave me an extraordinary glimpse of how this winning team operates as a seamless and highly professional unit; their performance was inspiring! I am delighted to welcome Alinghi back to Auckland for this regatta and I wish them fair winds,' said Dr Nobs.

The Alinghi team started training on Saturday alongside nine other Louis Vuitton Pacific Series competitors on the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland. This regatta marks their return to New Zealand for the first time since winning the America’s Cup in 2003 and has come as a pleasant distraction from the European winter.

Racing begins in earnest on the 30 January with Round Robin 1 and continues through Round Robin 2, the Challenger Finals and the LVPS Final until 14 February. Four-time America’s Cup winner and Alinghi team skipper, Kiwi, Brad Butterworth comments on coming home: 'It is really good to be back and fantastic to be sailing in Auckland again on a Cup boat; we look forward to some great competition.'

He added: 'Nine of the ten teams racing here are 33rd America’s Cup entered challengers with whom we have been working hard on preparations for the next America’s Cup. The group has almost finished the Class Rule which is due to be published at the end of January and we are all looking forward to the first Act in July. It is good to get out of the office and back on the water!'

The Alinghi crew racing for the LVPS

Brad Butterworth (NZL)
Dean Phipps (NZL)
Rodney Ardern (NZL)
Matt Mitchell (NZL)
Craig Satterthwaite (NZL)
Warwick Fleury (NZL)
Peter Evans (NZL)
Pieter van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED)
Francesco Rapetti (ITA)
Brian Sharp (USA)
Mark McTeigue (AUS)
Nils Frei (SUI)
Lorenzo Mazza (ITA)
Will McCarthy (AUS)
Ed Baird (USA)
Juan Vila (ESP)
Yves Detrey (SUI)

The LVPS teams in addition to Alinghi

Luna Rossa (ITA)
Team Shosholoza (RSA)
K-Challenge (FRA)
Damiani Italia Challenge (ITA)
Greek Challenge (GRE)
Team Origin (GBR)
China Team (CHN)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
BMW Oracle Racing (USA)

www.alinghi.com
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