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PRESS RELEASE - FAST 2000
First America's Cup Swiss Team
Challenge of the Club Nautique Morgien

Swiss Team Puts Temporary Hold on Boat Construction

Morges, Switzerland, April 22, 1999 - The last weeks have been quite eventful at the Swiss America's Cup Challenge.

On the one hand, following two extensive training periods for the crew in Auckland, construction of the "Swiss Made" Class America yacht has started as scheduled on February 16th. The construction of an oven of appropriate size and performance was also completed, as well as a second set of wind tunnel testing in Emmen.

On the other hand, negotiations to close the challenge's budget were actively pursued with new potential partners, willing to enter the capital of the company rather than acting as sponsors. However, at the end of a highly turbulent period, some potential partners decided to withdraw the financial support already announced to the Board, arguing that the few millions missing to close the entire budget had not yet been secured by FAST.

The Swiss Challenge is now facing a severe liquidity crisis which is making the daily life of its team members slightly more difficult than usual. Work at the yard and the development of the base has been temporarily suspended.

Says buoyant Marc Pajot: "Considering that our design team has developed what we believe to be a break-through design, we are especially motivated to do whatever is and will be possible to get us on the starting line."

Given the technical and logistic constraints, the challenge's members will now face some highly critical weeks in order to ensure the boat will arrive in New Zealand early in September.

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