First time winner?


John Greenland looks at the ins and outs of Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss America's Cup team...
Above: Alinghi's Russell Coutts and Ernesto Bertarelli The Alinghi America's Cup syndicate is a new entry to this prestigeous event yet many consider it to be well placed to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and possibly even the America's Cup itself. So why would people think so highly of a team that didn't exist at the time of the last America's Cup? The reason comes from the potent combination of formidable match racer and ex-Team New Zealand helm Russell Coutts and Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli. who is financing the project. And they are just two of the many top names involved with this syndicate, which many feel will fly come the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup this October. When Coutts joined the newly forming syndicate a number of the main characters from Team New Zealand followed. Having the know-how from two winning projects will certainly have been an advantage when getting the fledgling Alinghi team off the ground. "I would say that it is a little presumptuous to say that we are a formidable challenge. But, i'm certainly excited, and positive with the team's progress so far," said Coutts. Bertarelli is the Chief Exective and Deputy Chairman of the company Serono, one of the world's top three biotechonology companies with revenues of US$1.38 billion in 2001, and also an keen yachtsman. After graduating from Boston College he moved to Harbard Business School to study for his MBA. 37 year old Bertarelli now lives in Geneva. As a yachtsman Bertarelli won the Sardinia Cup in 1998 and has also scored a third place in the Fastnet. On Lake Geneva he has won the Bol d'Or three times and is known for having the hottest boat in town. Alinghi IV, is a super light weight catamaran, almost certainly the fastest boat for her

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