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Thousands turn out for Alinghi boat parade

Team Alinghi celebrated Swiss National Day by showing off their massive new catamaran to thousands of supporters on Lake Geneva.

This content was published on August 1, 2009 - 18:15

Approximately 10,000 people, including Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, turned up on Saturday in Lausanne for the presentation of the Alinghi 5.

The craft then led a boat parade from Lausanne to Geneva, with stops at ports along the way.

Alinghi is owned by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and sponsored by the Société Nautique de Genève.

The celebration followed Alinghi's court victory over America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle Racing, which allowed the Swiss team to use an engine to trim the sails and move the water ballast.

BMW Oracle Racing had opposed the departure from the tradition of using only wind and manual power in sailing America's Cup yachts.

The two sides have also been locked in a years-long legal spat over the particulars of the next America's Cup, yachting's most prestigious race.

The race between the Alinghi 5 and BMW Oracle's equally large trimaran is scheduled to begin on February 8, 2010. Alinghi will announce the venue on Thursday.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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