At 16:00 this afternoon, Alinghi 5, the Swiss America’s Cup Defender’s new catamaran, was lifted out of the tent where it was built in Villeneuve, Switzerland, and into the air by a Mil Mi-26 helicopter, the biggest and most powerful in the world, to be launched on Lake Geneva.
Alinghi 5 represents a first step in the development process towards the 33rd America’s Cup and the team will now focus on preparing it to sail over the coming weeks.
Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president, who was present to congratulate the team and for the boat christening by his wife Kirsty, commented:
“As a passionate multihull sailor I am extremely excited to see Alinghi 5 launched and for the next stage of this campaign to begin: over the coming weeks and months the team will work towards defending the 33rd America’s Cup next year. The team has done an excellent job to make this happen; we are all looking forward to going sailing now.”
Watching as the helicopter lifted Alinghi 5 out of the tent and on to the water, Grant Simmer who, working alongside a team of designers, boat builders and sailors, has coordinated the project said:
“I feel very proud of what we have achieved; there have been so many people involved who have worked really hard. They have done a fantastic job and this is the product of their hard work.”
Photo Copyright Stefano Gattini/Alinghi