Swiss head for the sea and America's Cup

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The Independent Online
A Swiss challenge for the 2000 America's Cup in New Zealand incorporating the leading French, Italian and German sailors was announced in Morges yesterday, despite the fact that Switzerland is a land-locked country, writes Stuart Alexander.

Heading Fast 2000 will be the Whitbread veteran Pierre Fehlmann and the skipper of the last three French challenges for the cup, Marc Pajot.

They will be joined by Germany's triple Olympic gold medallist, Jochen Schuemann, nominated as helmsman, and Italy's Enrico Chieffi, who completed the Il Moro di Venezia challenge in 1992 as tactician to Paul Cayard and would now do the same job for Schuemann.

To meet the terms of entry which require challenging clubs to be based on an arm of the sea and be able to set race courses on the ocean, the Club Nautique de Morges, which is on Lake Geneva, will link up with an as yet unnamed partner club with "ocean" credentials.