In a piece published today by the Spanish website, www.valenciasailing.com!valenciasailing.com, Team Alinghi head Ernesto Bertarelli says that in spite of talks being held between himself and Larry Ellison (BMW Oracle Racing), and between the lawyers from Team New Zealand and Team Alinghi, little progress is being made, other than the fact that the teams are talking.
Ernesto Bertarelli:"I had a positive meeting with Larry Ellison, we have the impression we are getting along marvellously and agree on practically everything. But then, during execution, I have the impression we are lost on translation."
Ernesto Bertarelli, owner of America's Cup defender Alinghi, talked to the French newspaper Le Figaro last week, when he was racing in the Voiles de Saint-Tropez on Numbers. The interview was published today and we provide the English translation for our non-French speakers.
Le Figaro: How did your meeting with Larry Ellison go?
Ernesto Bertarelli: In my opinion very well. We share the same passion for sailing and our points of view are not very distanced. But as we say 'the devil is in the detail'. Between two visions that are quite close, interpretation can some times be a little bit different. But I’m still hopeful we’ll get along. We talked about what could be done and we’ll keep discussing. And not only with Larry. I was this weekend in Saint-Tropez to listen to all those interested in the America’s Cup and try to see whether a compromise is possible.
Le Figaro: BMW Oracle has offered to withdraw their legal action if we went back to a traditional Cup on the same basis as the last edition…
Ernesto Bertarelli: It doesn’t make any sense playing the same tune over and over. Everybody wants the next Cup to be raced with one boat per team in order to avoid spending staggering sums. We have to find a solution that will allow us to race with budgets within reach of more teams.
Le Figaro: The ideal Cup for you ?
Ernesto Bertarelli: It’s thus a cheaper Cup, multi challenger, and a Cup that generates the maximum interest among the public, sponsors and the media.
Le Figaro: What do the Americans want?
Ernesto Bertarelli: Very honestly, I’m perplexed. When negotiations were interrupted last year, I thought I had made a very important step towards the direction of the challengers, in particular BMW Oracle, with the 13 versions and rectifications of the protocol (rules). We gave them the liberty to choose the new boat rule and we agreed upon the format that everybody accepted, except the Americans. They were asking us not to participate in the challenger races. By definition, with only one boat this would exclude for us any possibility of training and development. It’s as if we were catapulted to the Roland-Garros final without even hitting one ball against anyone in training and without playing a single match.3
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