Sunday 7 February 2010

America's Cup: 33rd America’s Cup Owners Press Conference

Saturday’s owners press conference in Valencia’s Port America’s Cup heard Alinghi founder Ernesto Bertarelli highlight that safety and reliability need to be key issues to be borne in mind during what promises to be an enthralling 33rd America’s Cup, scheduled to start on Monday

Image © Consorcio Valencia.

by America's Cup media

The two times America’s Cup winning team owner, who will helm the giant catamaran Alinghi 5 along with Frenchman Loick Peyron, re-stated the need for a measure of prudence after the start gun goes for Race 1 of the best of three series.

The winter conditions need to be taken account of. As well as getting the balance right, trying to ensure the maximum reliability of Alinghi 5, Bertarelli also warned that spectators on the water need to remember that this is winter and the conditions off Valencia can change quickly.

Bertarelli said that pre-regatta nerves are an essential part of his psychological drive to be successful, and that many of the feelings of excitement are the same as July 2007 when Alinghi triumphed.

The level of media interest, he underlined, is comparable to the 32nd America’s Cup Match, with some 600 media accredited already.

Over 100 media attended the press conference in the Port America’s signature Veles e Vents building.

Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI) owner and helmsman Alinghi:
“The weather is quite different from when we left in July 2007, but I think the excitement is the same. I think there is about 600 accreditations which is just as much as last time and so there is a certain interest in this historic race.

“ We are all at the Alinghi team looking forward to the regatta putting forward our best.”

On the need for nerves: “Every time you go to battle you have to feel nervous. Anytime I have gone casual to anything I was not my best,. I think adrenaline and a bit of excitement is good, for anything you do and especially for a competition like this.”

On BMW ORACLE Racing: “BMW ORACLE Racing is a formidable team. They have brought an impressive yacht with impressive technology. It is going to be very interesting to see two very different yachts trying to achieve the same thing.”

On the need for reliability and safety: “ In order to win you have to finish. Both teams over the last few weeks have been able to gauge our reliability. We have had problems. It is a bit like the beginning of the season in the Formula 1 grand prix. All is very good when the teams are here testing in Valencia. You go round the track once or twice and you put a good time. But on the Sunday of the first race you have to go around the track 72 times. It is a bit the same thing. We have completed the course a few times. It is a long course, 40 miles, we have done it in between two and half to three hours which is a lot of ground to cover. If the wind comes from the shore, which is what it is looking like, then the start is going to be almost half way between here and Ibiza. I think everyone should be careful, especially spectators who are on the water. Remember we are not in the summer, but in the winter.”

On why he is helming Alinghi: “Some other reasons are those that brought me to sailing, multihull sailing, speed and perfecting these boats on the lakes. My contribution this time has been very different. Possibly I have had more involvement with this campaign than ever before. My steering I think is a good thing.

“ It happens that I can steer a multihull, and I have brought on board since we have clear indication that we were going to sail multihulls those which we have competed against on the lake, those who I felt were the strongest competitors Alain Gautier and Loïck Peyron.”

On this America’s Cup: “ I think this America’s Cup will be remembered for whatever reason. I hope for the good reasons and it is going to be a formidable America’s Cup because of the boats and the technology and possibly because it is a DoG match and once in a while you have one. The other thing is that we should be careful in not discouraging other people who want to participate.”

Official opening ceremony Sunday

Sunday 7th February sees the official opening ceremony of the 33rd America’s Cup, starting at 1300hrs in the heart of Port America’s Cup, by the Veles et Vents building.

The opening ceremony will include the draw for which side the competing yachts have to enter the start area for Race 1, with the time gun scheduled for 1000hrs Monday.

A huge crescendo is promised with a mascletá, a local celebration of firecrackers with the largest reckoned to be 750kilos of gunpowder.

And from 1400hrs the America’s Cup will have the UN GRAIN for Hairt – the cooking of a giant paella with the proceeds all going to relieve suffering in Haiti.

33rd America's Cup

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