Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dalton tipping Alinghi to join Volvo fleet

- NZPA - Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli. Photo / AP
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton is tipping fellow former America's Cup holders Alinghi to join the Volvo Ocean Race fleet.

With the next cup regatta not expected to be held until 2013 or 2014, Team NZ today confirmed they would compete in the 2011-12 Volvo event.

The move takes the number of confirmed entries to five, along with Puma Ocean Racing of the United States, France's Groupama, Italia 70 and a team from Abu Dhabi.

Dalton believed Alinghi, who lost the America's Cup in a one-on-one multihull duel with American challengers Oracle in February, to enter as well.

"I think very soon you will see Alinghi announce their involvement," he said.

"It's a perfect one for them really to get their mojo and re-establish some credentials."

Dalton said that, like Team NZ, the Swiss syndicate could start a campaign straight away, an important consideration given the timeframe.

The race begins at Alicante, in Spain, in October next year and ends at Galway, in Ireland, in June, 2012, and among the stopovers is Auckland.

Dalton also picked Oracle to put the America's Cup up for grabs in 2014.

He was philosophical about the fact that would mean a seven-year gap since the last time the battle for the Auld Mug was open to all challengers. That was in 2007, when Alinghi beat Team NZ in the final.

"It is when it is," he said.

"We don't have the cup. He with the gold rules." - NZPA -