Under the Big Tent J

life of lia

Under the Big Tent

Jesus we’re late with this, but we’d guess things haven’t changed much…

It is common knowledge in Geneva, that cup-defender Alinghi are building their D.O.G multihull in Villeneuve, on land belonging to the Decision 35 boat yard, also owned by Ernesto Bertarelli. If it weren’t, the white ‘temporary’ tent is pretty unmissable from the highway. Finding an access road is an altogether different matter…

A sequence of cars pulls out just as we turn up- evidently after a big team meeting. (This is Friday 24.04.09, the day after the GGYC/SNG meeting and SNG’s statement that they are ready to race in 90 x 90ft multihulls in 2010.) While the place is heavily gated, the gates are temporary and we are really surprised that there are no security guards. If there was any doubt as to whether we had the correct site, 4 huge extractor fans stick out the back of the second lower-roofed building. Strangely, everything looks pretty clean. We are in Switzerland, but still, there is not a single scrap of boat-building detritus to be seen. The setup is reminiscent of before a boat is built, not after.

Will the D.O.G Alinghi turn up in Valencia or elsewhere soon? Is there a D.O.G Alinghi multihull at all? Because inside the buildings at Villeneuve, there is absolutely nothing bar an upturned white plastic chair. – Lia Ditton.