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17 May 2005, 02:01 pm
Exciting Start For Tour
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UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour Zurich 2005
Zurich, Switzerland

Over the May holiday weekend, twelve teams of three, racing high performance Streamline boats, gave a spectacular display of match racing on Lake Zurich, Switzerland in the ISAF Grade 4 UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour Zurich. Three days of nail-biting racing saw Team Monnin emerge as winners.
The first event of the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour seemed to be very well received. 'This first stage of the tour has been a really great success,' said Alinghi co-managing director Patrick MAGYAR on Monday. 'The spectators watching from the shore were able to get a close-up view of the racing and we were pleased to see so many who turned out to watch despite the changeable weather! Tour officer Etienne HUTER ran a fantastic event although it was a shame about the rain. This first stage of the tour has really exceeded our expectations'.

All eyes were on the Alinghi team, skippered by Olympic Gold medallist and Alinghi strategist Jordi CALAFAT (ESP) with team members Matt MITCHELL and Yves DETREY. The first day saw Alinghi take four out of five of their matches, only narrowly missing qualifying for the semi finals. 'Sunday was an unlucky day,' commented CALAFAT, sailing for the first time on a Streamline. 'The conditions were very tricky and we never really found our rhythm'.

Team Monnin with Eric MONNIN, the highest ranking Swiss match racer in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, and brothers, Jean-Claude (Alinghi design team) and Marc, ensured themselves a place in the ISAF Grade 3 final of the Swiss match race championship 2005 in Valencia, Spain.

'We are extremely happy that we won,' added Eric after a wet day on the lake. 'The competition was very strong and the races went right to the wire'. Both Team Monnin and Team Walser - runners-up to the Monnin brothers - also qualify for the ISAF Grade 1 St Moritz Match Race from 16-21 August in St Moritz, Switzerland. 'This will be a special challenge for us, as we will be up against the best of international match racing talent,' added the winner of the first UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour.

The tight racing and the standard of sailing gave a clear indication of the potential in the sport of match racing in Switzerland. The tour organizers are very optimistic this tour will find and encourage new talent in the sport. There are four more ISAF Grade 4 tour races in Switzerland in Thun (18-19 June), Lugano (3-4 September), Romanshorn (1-2 October) and Geneva (14-16 October) followed by the ISAF Grade 3 final in Valencia from 10-13 November.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Zurich:© Alessandro Della Bella/KEYSTONE
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