Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Alinghi 5 sailing on Lake Geneva. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi.
by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat
The Swiss America's Cup Defender, Alinghi, hoisted the sails on its giant new catamaran Alinghi 5 for the first time today on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The 90ft multihull was cheered off the dock at midday by hundreds of spectators watching the maiden sail out of Le Bouveret.
Murray Jones, who is running the initial trials of the giant multihull that represents a first step in the development process towards the 33rd America's Cup, gave his comments on a good first day on the water: “We went out this morning with a list of objectives to work through: testing the boat, checking the structure, doing some manoeuvres and seeing if the sails would all sheet and it went pretty well; we ticked off just about everything. There are a lot of systems on the boat that are complicated and new, but it was fantastic. To fly the boat upwind and downwind with gennaker was awesome for the first day of sailing. The boat is a tribute to the designers and the boat builders. To deliver a boat of this complexity that works straight out of the box on the first day is impressive; really impressive.”
Grant Simmer, design team coordinator, was observing the trials from a RIB: “It's been a good day, we had a list of things we wanted to tick off and we took it slowly and carefully and have finished the day achieving all those things. It was exciting to see the boat sailing for the first time after so much time designing, boat building, sail making and spar making; seeing all those bits come together and seeing the machine working is great! We're looking forward to tomorrow.”