Alinghi, Way More Than Just a Boat

Alinghi's America's Cup catamaran

It's a dreary, rainy old day in Valencia today, and full of dusty heads.

The weather echoes the sentiments of many here, who watched and hoped for a win by the Swiss boat, Alinghi, in the America's Cup. That wasn't to be.

There can be no hiding the fact that Alinghi, the defender of the last Cup, was out-sailed by the American trimaran, and that the best boat won. Then again, having followed the cup religiously since it came to this fair shore 6 years ago, that provides little in the way of solace.

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But I didn't want to write about boats. I understand little about them, excepting the fact that these two vessels are awesome to behold. I wanted to write about people.

My involvement in this Cup has been very much in the third party. It is my wonderful wife who gave me a grandstand seat in this prestigious event when, those few years ago, she went to work for it.

Sport is a very social business and we have made some great friends from around Valencia's old port. They were mostly there last night – and well into this morning – celebrating Alinghi's golden age and commiserating the reality check that is in the nature of sport.

It was a strange party. It felt something like a wake. It felt like we were saying goodbye.

Over the next few days the sailing community will be packing its bags and heading off to far-flung horizons. I wonder how many of these transient types we'll ever see again.

That's rather sad.

But, whatever the future, the last 6 years have been all the richer for the bringing together of this lovely lot, complete with their sea dog tales and their remarkable propensity to liquor. Damn and double damn, it has been quite the ruddy riot.

.. so for that I, for one, am truly grateful. Thanks Alinghi, and especial thanks to all those who sailed in her.

Photo courtesy of Alinghi, © Guido Trombetta / Alinghi


About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at, polices WordPress security at and helps noobs build web servers at, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.

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