Swiss America's Cup gets world title boost
Multi Olympic champion Jochen Schümann and Peter Van Niekerk, who sailed with Roy Heiner in the Soling class in Sydney, will now join other members of the Swiss Challenge at Team Alinghi in Sète for training on board the America's Cup class boat Alinghi.
The former Swiss America's Cup boat, Be Happy (SUI 59) has been modified over the past six months, the boat being returned to a more conventional shape with the removal of the double keel configuration. Apart from this change the hull has been modified by less than 1%, most of the rework being focused on the appendages, the bridge and a facelift for the fittings.
The Alinghi Team is headed by Ernesto Bertarelli; with Skipper, double America's Cup winner, Russell Coutts and Principle Designer, Rolf Vrolijk.
As part of the training programme an Alinghi Swiss Tour has been organised consisting of six Match Racing regattas in Switzerland finishing at Geneva in September. Prizes from the events must be passed on to the junior sections of the winners club. Where members of Swiss Challenge win, the prize will be given to Swiss Sailing, who will in their turn help young Swiss sailors.