America's Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland has launched two 35-foot catamarans on Lake Geneva and will begin training for its showdown with American challenger BMW Oracle Racing next year.
American Ed Baird will helm one of the catamarans while Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli, a biotech tycoon with extensive experience sailing multihulls, will steer the other.
When bitter rivals Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing face off next year for the oldest trophy in international sports, the boats will be much bigger. Alinghi is believed to be building a catamaran that could be 110 feet long, while BMW Oracle Racing already has been testing its 90-foot trimaran.
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