Alinghi: Press Release

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Jan Dekker joins Alinghi

August 29, 2006


Jan Dekker, 39, well known French/South African bowman, joins Alinghi, the Swiss Defender of the 32nd America's Cup, as foredeck crew to strengthen the sailing squad at a time when the emphasis will be switching from testing to more racing in preparation for next year's America's Cup Match.

He has a wealth of offshore racing experience having just stepped off the winning Volvo Ocean Racing yacht ABN Amro One to notch up his fourth round the world race. With America's Cup experience on the 1995 French challenger in San Diego, with Alinghi crew mates Yann Gouniot, Christian Karcher and Bernard Labro, he is no stranger to inshore racing either.

He will bring rigging know-how to the shore team, as Jochen Schuemann, sports director and helmsman, comments: "We know he's very experienced having done various Volvos and trimaran campaigns in France, aside from other big boat programs, and have put him in the rig team, hoping that we can learn a bit about the technology of the VOR." 

On the boat, Dekker will slot in to the ongoing crew rotation policy, Jochen adds: "He will be part of the bow group as a sailor and as he settles in and we learn more about his competences and strengths, we might adjust it a little, but at the moment that's where he stands."

Dekker has been persistent in his approach to the Swiss team, ?In the 2001 round the world race, we stopped in Auckland and already then I wanted to join Alinghi, I wrote my CV and gave it to the team. Since then, once a year, I've told them that I'm still keen."

His knowledge is what counts for the Defender: "He's an experienced bowman and has sailed on a lot of different boats. He is physically very strong and that is useful on Cup boats. We need strong, solid, experienced bow people. We always have a good choice of experienced sailors from different fields and he will hopefully add value to the core of Alinghi," says Jochen.

Dekker will start training this week with the sailing team as they continue with the two boat testing and training program out of the base in Valencia.

Sailing career highlights

  • 2005/6 winner Volvo Ocean Race, ABN Amro One
  • 2004 Trans-Atlantic record on Mari Cha 4
  • 2003 60ft trimaran Groupama
  • 2002 60ft trimaran Bayer
  • 2001 Volvo Ocean Race , Tyco, 4th
  • 2000 Club Med, The Race
  • 1999 trimaran Biscuit La Trinitaine
  • 1998 Maxi Alexia
  • 1997 Whitbread Round the World, Silk Cut, 4th
  • 1996 Maxi one design and 60ft trimaran campaign
  • 1995 America?s Cup, France 2-3


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