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Swiss Challenge to the America's Cup 2003.

Media Releases Switzerland

UBS forms a partnership with Swiss Challenge.

The Swiss Challenge for the America's Cup and UBS have just signed an important partnership contract. UBS will become one of the main partners of Swiss Challenge.

"We are enthusiastic about taking on the challenge with UBS," stated Michel Bonnefous, Executive Director of the Swiss Challenge. "The manifestation of this first principal partner confirms the serious nature of the work carried out to this point and establishes the credibility of our Challenge. We are convinced that this partnership will be profitable."

Marcel Ospel, UBS CEO announced, "Sailing of this caliber calls for perfect interplay between strategy, tactics, stamina, speed and mastery of state-of-the-art technology. These key factors, implemented by a highly motivated team, are what carry a racing yacht to success. In global finance business, they also decide who can sail harder to the wind."

After extensive evaluation of the most prominent sports at this time, UBS decided to become partner of Swiss Challenge as a result of the perfect symbiosis between its brand values and attributes and those of Sailing and Swiss Challenge in particular.

The America's Cup is the oldest sports trophy of modern times. Most importantly, it is the most prestigious Sailing competition, with a history going back 150 years. The regatta is unique in that the winner not only wins the coveted trophy, but also earns the right and the honour to organise the following edition. This explains why the competition is currently staged in New Zealand. New Zealanders took the Cup in 1995 in San Diego, which enabled them to organize the following edition in the Auckland Bay. They won again last year when they were up against the Italians of Prada syndicate. In the 2003 edition, the New Zealander Defender and the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will confront each other.

The Swiss Challenge for the America Cup was created by Ernesto Bertarelli with the aim of contesting the next edition of this prestigious event under the flag of the "Société Nautique de Genève". His objective is to go all out to take the America's Cup in February 2003, bringing it back to Europe for the first time in its history. In hopes of achieving this goal, an international team has been made up of top specialists. Russell Coutts, the skipper, won the last two editions of the America's Cup. Because of Coutts and his supporting team, Swiss Challenge will be among the contenders for the victory of the 31st edition of the America's Cup.

Geneva, January 23, 2001