Schueman takes the helm
"Alinghi's goal over the coming years is to create two first class teams for the America's Cup 2007. This covers all members of the team," explains Russell Coutts. "This is why I asked Jochen to take the helm of Alinghi against Oracle BMW Racing."
Jochen Schuemann has been Coutts' sparring partner since the start of the Alinghi campaign, in the year 2000. A formidable match-race helmsman, he helped Russell to raise his game and carry the America's Cup away from New Zealand. Now he is taking command.
"After helming Alinghi in training against Russell for more than two years, I am now happy and proud to take the helm for a real race," said Schueman. "We have been training every day since the beginning of the week. The Alinghi Team still has to make more progress but our crew will be ready to race against Oracle BMW Racing on 15 September."
Coutts will be in San Francisco by the end of the event, supporting his team from a chase boat.
The Moët Cup is divided into two events: a professional regatta and an owners/founders match. This means that Ernesto Bertarelli and Larry Ellison will compete with each other before handing over the helm to Jochen Schuemann and Gavin Brady respectively.
The two teams will take this opportunity to test new crew and to present their program for the coming years. Both Alinghi and Oracle BMW Racing have indicated that they intend to modernise the America's Cup to allow the general public to get closer to the event. Many regattas are scheduled each year and the Moët Cup is being used to kick off the series.