Alinghi Christens SUI-100

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Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

While revelers in other parts of the world were drinking green beer in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Alinghi went upscale, christening its new boat, SUI-100, with a bottle of Moet & Chandon at its base in Valencia, Spain.Syndicate head Ernesto Bertarelli's wife, Kirsty, joined the team to christen the boat, the first to have a three digit sail number in the history of the Class. "God bless SUI100, all those that have worked on her and all those that will sail her. Good luck!" she declared as she smashed the bottle over (a specially reinforced section of) the bow.The team's shore crew coordinator, Michel Marie, also offered his blessing. "This is a great day for Alinghi," he said, "It is the culmination of more than three years of work from the design team, the Alinghi boatbuilding team with input from the sailors." The Alinghi boatbuilding team has managed the building process along with the Decision boatyard in Switzerland; this project has taken over 20,000 man hours. The christening marks the beginning of the sailing season for Alinghi in Valencia after a highly beneficial winter of training in Dubai, "We intend to get SUI100 out and sailing as soon as possible against SUI91," said team skipper Brad Butterworth. "We want to see for ourselves what the developments and refinements that the designers have made mean for us in real terms on the water. The team has come back from Dubai strong and keen to go racing. After the LV Act 13, we will continue with our in-house training in preparation for the America's Cup Match." Alinghi will declare two racing yachts on March 31 and will unveil both the following day along with the 11 challengers. The boats' keels and bulbs have been hidden beneath skirts since the January 2006.For more Alinghi news, click here.