For two months the Defender, Alinghi, has been watching the challengers develop and get stronger through the Louis Vuitton Cup. Now it is time for Alinghi to show whether it has what it takes to hold on to the trophy.
From 23rd June until 7th of July Alinghi will race against Emirates Team New Zealend for the 32nd America’s Cup.
Today, 7th June, Emirates Team New Zealand received the Louis Vuitton Cup after winning the fifth race of the Final against Luna Rossa Challenge. The Emirates performance was impressive; the 5-0 sweep was the first time in Louis Vuitton Cup history that the final score line had been so one-sided.
The next task for Emirates Team New Zealand is facing Alinghi in the 32nd America’s Cup Match. Throughout the four years of Louis Vuitton Acts, the Kiwis and the Alinghi team have sailed 10 matches, with the Emirates squad holding a 6-4 advantage. Last year, the Kiwis won 4 of 5 races. Alinghi is prepared for a tough battle commencing 23 June.
What about the two teams? I think that a sort description of the teams is necessary.
Emirates Team New Zealand
New Zealand has a relatively long history in the modern era of the America’s Cup. While the country began competing for the Cup in 1986/1987, the current Emirates Team New Zealand can trace its roots back directly to the winning challenge in 1995.
Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Country: New Zealand
Team Established: 1993
Managing Director: Grant Dalton
Team Leader: Kevin Shoebridge
Designers: Andy Claughton and ETNZ Design Team
Skipper / Helmsman: Dean Barker
Afterguard: Terry Hutchinson, Kevin Hall, Adam Beashall, Ray Davies
Wins – 83% (84/101)
Losses – 17% (17/101)
Alinghi was formed in the summer of 2000 and charged with the ambitious task of winning the America’s Cup. On March 2nd 2003, this mission was accomplished with Alinghi sweeping Team New Zealand 5 - 0, to win the 31st America’s Cup. With this victory, Alinghi brings the America’s Cup to Europe for the first time in 152 years.
Defending Yacht Club: Société Nautique de Genève
Team Established: 2000
Head of Team: Ernesto Bertarelli
Skipper: Brad Butterworth
Designers: Rolf Vrolijk and the Alinghi design team
Helmsman: Jochen Schuemann, Peter Holmberg, Ed Baird
Afterguard: Peter Evans, Murray Jones, Jordi Calafat ,Juan Vila, Mike Drummond
Wins – 82% (61/74)
Losses – 18% (13/74)
What can I say about the two teams? They are definitely ready for the final confrontation, they know each other and I bet that each team will give 110% to get their hands on that prize. So may the best team win.