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Swiss boat pulls out of America's Cup

The ill-fated "Watchout" bid was only launched in May

(Keystone)

One of the two Swiss boats competing for a place in the 2003 America's Cup sailing competition has been forced to pull out on financial grounds.

The "Watchout" syndicate, led by marketing firm IMG Switzerland, announced on Tuesday that it did not have enough funding to remain competitive.

Launched in March by the canton Vaud sports club, Crans-près-Céligny, the "Watchout" bid was based on a planned budget of SFr 80 million. The team had hoped to take part in at least the next three qualification rounds.

Tuesday's announcement leaves "Swiss Challenge" as the only Swiss representative in the competition. Headed by Genevan billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, the team is currently made up of 54 employees.

The crew of the "Swiss Challenge" includes New Zealand skipper Russel Coutts and triple Olympic gold medallist Jochen Schümann of Germany. Coutts has won the last two America's Cup races for New Zealand.

swissinfo with agencies

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