Alinghi welcomed the Valencia authorities to its base in the Dársena this afternoon to watch the Defender’s giant catamaran, Alinghi 5, be launched ahead of its first sail in Spanish waters. Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president, greeted Francisco Camps, the president of the region, and Rita Barberá, the Valencia mayoress, who presented him with the Valencia flag which was immediately raised on board Alinghi 5.
“We are ready for the Match!” declared Bertarelli to the media present. “The team is here, I am here and we are prepared for the America’s Cup Match on the 8 February,” he said. "All the pieces are in place for the event to begin, we have an agreement with the City of Valencia to run the shore based side of the 33rd America’s Cup, and we are just waiting for the blessing of the central government in Madrid.”
As the vast sails were lifted on to the catamaran with a crane, the latest lawsuit – BMW Oracle’s ninth – was discussed; Ernesto Bertarelli was firm on the subject: “Our sails are rooted in Swiss technology and they have been constructed in Villeneuve, Switzerland. This Swiss technology has been used by both defenders and challengers in the America’s Cup since 1995 and we have been through years of development in Switzerland to construct them. Should the American justice system outlaw their use, it would be like asking Roger Federer to defend his title without using his tennis racket. BMW Oracle would win the America’s Cup in court as, without our sails, we cannot race.”
As Alinghi 5 cast off, Ernesto hopped on board the catamaran and the guests boarded the support boats to watch Alinghi 5 go for a shake down sail ahead of the race training programme that begins tomorrow.