Alinghi snatches 2-0 America's Cup lead

Alinghi beat Team New Zealand by just seven seconds.

The Swiss challengers, Alinghi, have snatched a 2-0 America's Cup lead over defending champions Team New Zealand.

This content was published on February 16, 2003 minutes

Alinghi's victory on Sunday raised hopes that they could become the first European team to win the trophy.

"For a long time it looked like 1-1 and now it's different.... two-zero, it's major," said Jochen Schuemann, Alinghi's strategist and three times an Olympic gold medallist.


In the closest America's Cup race in 11 years, Alinghi came from behind in the second of the best-of-nine series to win a dramatic race by just seven seconds.

Having also won the first race of the series, Alinghi is now three victories shy of taking the America's Cup to Europe for the first time in 152 years.

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker sailed past Alinghi on the second leg of Sunday's six-leg, 18.5 nautical mile race. Barker's boat opened a lead of almost 200 metres, but Alinghi fought back.

The lead changed three times in the final leg of the race, but it was Alinghi's skipper, Russell Coutts, who steered the boat to victory in a dramatic sprint to the finish.


It was a painful defeat for the two-time defending champions. Barker said the New Zealanders made mistakes on the crucial leg and did not change course early enough to catch Alinghi.

Their defence got off to a bad start when on Saturday they had to pull out in the first race of the series after suffering gear breakages. Alinghi automatically won that race.

Sunday's race was delayed for more than two hours while the committee waited for the breeze to get stronger, and there was a further delay when some of the spectator crafts drifted onto the course.

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?