Alinghi Dismisses Russell Coutts

The following is the complete text of a press release received Monday afternoon from Alinghi Holdings, the legal entity of the current holders of the America's Cup. Team Alinghi to dismiss Russell Coutts Geneva, 26th July 2004--Team Alinghi is left with no choice but to terminate its contract with Russell Coutts. Repeated violations of his duties resulted in Coutts's dismissal. Russell Coutts specifically refused to helm Alinghi in Newport, United States, whereas he was requested to do so. He also decided not to sail with Team Alinghi crew at recent regattas, namely in Marstrand, Sweden, Trieste, Italy and in Lisbon, Portugal, where the regattas are about to commence. This constitutes a clear violation of his employment contract. Furthermore, in various press statements made early July, he declared that he was no longer part of the Alinghi Team. Also particularly damaging was regarded Russell Coutts's undisclosed involvement in the planning and development of a new race series, a commitment incompatible with his responsibilities and duties. In his capacity as a member of the board of Alinghi Holdings, Russell Coutts maneuvered himself into an inextricable conflict of interest. As a result, Alinghi had no recourse but to terminate its cooperation with Russell Coutts, effective immediately. Ernesto Bertarelli, leader of the Team Alinghi, has expressed his regret and disappointment that given the facts it is no longer possible to cooperate with Russell Coutts. He further points out that he will continue to do whatever is necessary toprotect Team Alinghi and to secure the attraction and uniqueness of the America's Cup.