The Lugano Yacht Club, organisers of the fourth annual Gran Premio Cittą di Lugano Match Race, a sailing event that has carved out an important place for itself internationally, is carrying on its tradition of star participants, bringing Russell Coutts, winner of the last America's Cup with Alinghi, to Lugano.
Coutts follows in the footsteps of Flavio Favini, winner of the first and second Match Race Lugano, who was already at the helm of Mascalzone latino in Aukland and is future helmsman for the same team at the next America's Cup, and Paul Cayard, who participated in the third annual edition of the Ticinese event after taking part in a number of America's Cup races and many other regattas all over the world. Match Race Lugano is now pleased to host Mr. America's Cup, the world's best Match Race helmsman.
The resounding success of the event's organisers and Paul Cayard's enthusiasm at the end of the third annual Gran Premio Cittą di Lugano Match Race convinced the New Zealand skipper, who, at the last Melges 24 World Championship held in Key Largo (Florida) at the start of December 2005, confirmed his participation and excitement directly to Franco Rossini, President of the recently-founded Lugano Yacht Club and "chief organiser" of Canton Ticino and some of Switzerland's most prestigious sailing events.
Five months from the start of the regatta, which is scheduled to take place in the bay of Lugano from 31 May to 4 June 2006, there are many new things. Given the event's success up to now, the Organising Committee has decided to expand the number of teams participating from 10 to 12, as well as to notch up the overall length of the event from 4 to 6 days, with 5 days of sailing in which the teams will face off for some exciting racing.