Alinghi launches multihull training programme on Lake Geneva

Alinghi, 33rd America's Cup Defender, has started its 2009-2010 multihull campaign in Switzerland launching the two Décision 35 catamarans that will be used as training platforms towards a multihull America's Cup in May 2010. The sailing team will be dedicated to multihull training, racing the Challenge Julius Baer on Lake Geneva for the rest of the season and withdrawing from other monohull commitments.
In addition to Ernesto Bertarelli’s original SUI1, the team has chartered a second Décision 35 (SUI6) for the season and the two grand prix multihulls will race the eight events that span the summer, starting on 8 May with the Grand Prix Corum.
Ed Baird will helm Alinghi SUI6 with Brad Butterworth as tactician while Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi president, will helm Alinghi SUI1. “Ernesto and his team have been strong in this class for years, we look forward to learning from and with them throughout the season,” said Baird. “We realise we have a lot to learn, and there will be a number of great crews to race against, so we're excited to have the opportunity to get back on the water in a competitive environment.”
The Alinghi multihulls will face a strong 10-boat fleet that includes some of the best offshore multihull sailors in the world, and  while an Alinghi team has won the last two championships on the Lake, the team is candid in its expectations: “We are here to try to win, just as we did last year, but this season is going to be tough: the circuit has two new boats (Veltigroup and Banque Populaire) manned by highly professional multihull sailors with lots of experience, so the starts of the races will be more challenging. We will definitely be trying to keep the trophy in our hands though!” said Yves Detrey, Alinghi bow/mastman.
The first event, the Grand Prix Corum is from 8-10 May at the Société Nautique de Genève, so the Alinghi teams will start training from next Monday, “the D-35's represent a more sophisticated racing multihull than we have experienced before, and we need all the training opportunities we can get as we prepare for an America's Cup in multihulls,” Baird concluded.
Crew lists
Alinghi SUI1
Club: Société Nautique de Genève
Ernesto Bertarelli, helmsman
Pierre-Yves Jorand, mainsail trimmer, performance
Nils Frei, trimmer
Yves Detrey, bow/mastman, boat captain
JC Monnin, trimmer, performance
Luc Dubois, helmsman, performance
Tanguy Cariou, tactician
Coraline Jonet, trimmer
Andrew Graham, spare
Claudy Dewarrat, coach
Christian Wahl, tactician
Alinghi SUI6
Club: Société Nautique de Genève
Ed Baird, helmsman
Brad Butterworth, tactician
Warwick Fleury, mainsail trimmer
Lorenzo Mazza, trimmer
Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen, bow/mastman
Curtis Blewett, bow/mastman
Murray Jones, tactician

D35 racing programme
Challenge Julius Baer 2009
8-10 May 2009
Grand Prix Corum
23-24 May 2009
Grand Prix - Act I
6 June 2009
13 June 2009
Bol d’Or Mirabaud
27-28 June 2009
Grand Prix - Act II
22-23 August 2009
Open de Nyon
5-6 September 2009
HP Cup La Réserve
18-20 September 2009
Grand Prix Beau-Rivage Palace
D35 teams for the Challenge Julius Baer 2009
SUI1             Alinghi SUI1
SUI2             Okalys-Corum
SUI3             Julius Baer
SUI4             Zen Too
SUI5             Foncia
SUI6         Alinghi SUI6
SUI7             Zebra 7
SUI9             Smart Home
SUI10           Ladycat
SUI11           Veltigroup
SUI12           Banque Populaire