And exciting racing is expected as Switzerland's new generation of match racers pits their talents against a team from Alinghi at each of the five regional qualifying regattas. The five winning teams from each event will automatically advance to the final to be held in November 2005 at Alinghi's base in Valencia, Spain, where the 'Swiss National Match Race Champion' will be crowned. Furthermore the top two teams at the Zurich event in May 2005 will also qualify for the St Moritz Match Race, with prize money of CHF150,000 at stake.
The Tour, born from the successful relationship between Alinghi's main partner, UBS and the America's Cup winner, hopes to encourage new sailing talent in Switzerland and give young sailors a taste of the dynamic sport of match racing. As Jochen SCHÜMANN puts it, 'Since Alinghi won the America's Cup, sailing has enjoyed a wave of popularity in Switzerland, and it is important that we also do something for the future of the sport.'
The race organization for the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour will be coordinated by the recently created Swiss Match Race AG, in association with 'Swiss Sailing', the national federation. Two Streamline boats will be available at each of the organizing yacht clubs with the aim of allowing prospective teams to train throughout the season.Roger STAUB, President of Swiss Sailing:
Werner PEYER, Member of the Group Managing Board, Head of Wealth Management for Zurich region, UBS:
'We are convinced that the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour is a great way to establish the sport of match racing in Switzerland and to bring forward our young talent. If we want to be considered as a successful sailing nation in the future, it will not be enough to simply rest on the successes in the America's Cup - we have to react. With our involvement in the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour we are confirming that our commitment to the world of sailing goes further that the prestigious America's Cup.'
Jochen SCHÜMANN, Sports Director, Team Alinghi:
'It's great to see these three partners united for the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour and vitally important that we use the increased popularity of sailing in Switzerland since Alinghi won the America's Cup to promote our future generations of sailors. The UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour is a fantastic opportunity to bring match racing and therefore the principles of the America's Cup closer to young Swiss sailors.'
'Although it can be said that the sailing conditions on Switzerland's lakes are often light, I expect exciting regattas at all of the five qualifying events. The participating teams will have the chance to test their skills against Team Alinghi and qualify for the final at our base in Valencia, which I hope will prove to be an excellent motivation. The Streamline boats guarantee exciting racing, even in the light airs, and if it gets breezy, the action will be spectacular both for the sailors and spectators alike!'</<P>Calendar 2005
14-16 May Zürich Zürcher Yacht Club www.zyc.ch
18-19 June Thun Thunersee-Yachtclub www.thunersee-yachtclub.ch
3-4 Sept Lugano Circolo Velico Lago di Luganowww.cvll.ch
1-2 Oct Romanshorn Yacht Club Romanshorn www.ycro.ch
15-16 Oct Geneva Société Nautique de Genève www.nautique.org
10-13 Nov Valencia/E Alinghi Base www.alinghi.com