The 33rd America’s Cup defending team, Alinghi, arrived in Valencia, Spain today and will transfer to its existing base in the Dársena (the inner harbour of Valencia) over the next couple of days to begin its final preparations towards the Deed of Gift Match that starts on 8 February.
The team’s catamaran Alinghi 5, the masts and 20 support containers reached their final destination aboard the Cassandra B container ship on Monday afternoon after a 14 day voyage from the team’s previous base in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.
“We hope that the people of Valencia will be excited to witness the arrival and preparation of our catamaran. We understand the American challenger has also arrived to Valencia and hopefully both boats will be moored in the Dársena and will provide a great spectacle. Since these new yachts are so fast and the racing will take place a long way offshore viewing the yachts from the water will be difficult for the fans, the sponsors and the media; that is why we think the Dársena will form an important arena for this event,” said Grant Simmer, Alinghi design team coordinator.
The team completed a very successful two month training period on 16 December 2009 in the Arabian Gulf and cast off, bound for Europe, on the 21 December. The Cassandra B travelled 4,500 nm out of the Arabian Gulf, into the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal and across the Mediterranean to return the Defender to the Alinghi base in Valencia, which was home to the highly successful 32nd America’s Cup.
Alinghi plans to start sailing in Valencia mid-month and will focus on training for the 36 days that remain until the 33rd America’s Cup Match.
“The voyage from Ras Al Khaimah to Valencia went smoothly and over the coming days we will settle back into our base in the Dársena. The team will focus on readying Alinghi 5 for the final training session ahead of the first race for the 33rd America’s Cup, which starts on 8 February,” added Simmer.