Marcelino Botín, the Spanish head designer of Emirates Team New Zealand, talked to Valencia Sailing about his ideas on the future America's Cup yacht but also the TP52's and, of course, the brand new Volvo Ocean Race campaign the kiwis will run for the Spanish footwear group Camper. Botín and Emirates Team NZ are strong advocates of the monohull option for the 34th America's Cup.
Now that I have interviewed three of the 19 designers present in the meeting in Valencia two weeks ago, I'm convinced that, at least, the conception of the new yacht rule is indeed an open, democratic consultative process. If it's indeed true, as Paul Cayard stated in his interview yesterday, that we will 'end up with a monohull', then it will be a clear sign the Defender really gave up one of its major prerogatives. Even the fact we can freely have interviews regarding that meeting and people openly give details (even if limited) about what was discussed, this is without the slightest doubt a tremendous improvement over the past.
Valencia Sailing: Let's first start with the Designers Meeting in Valencia two weeks ago. Did you attend it on behalf of Emirates Team New Zealand or as an independent designer?
Marcelino Botín: Well, the invitation sent by Ian Burns was personally to me but he obviously knows I work for Team NZ, so I would say that I was in that meeting as a representative of Team NZ.
Valencia Sailing: Did you have a conversation with Grant Dalton or other members of the team prior to the meeting in Valencia?
Marcelino Botín: Grant knew I was going to attend the meeting in Valencia but we didn't have any conversation prior to that. As you understand, we know pretty well what we want and I don't think there was any issue in particular to talk about. They, obviously, knew I was going on their behalf.
Valencia Sailing: Can you tell us what you and the rest of Emirates Team NZ want?
Marcelino Botín: First of all, what we want is a monohull yacht. We don't want the America's Cup to be raced on multihulls, for a very simple reason. The America's Cup is a match race and at least in its current format, we believe it isn't suitable for multihulls. It could be different if you envision some other format of match racing but in our opinion, and in particular mine, the biggest attraction of the America's Cup it the match racing itself and the close and tight races it offers. Even before the start of the race you have close action and all those aspects would be lost with a multihull. Take for example the second race of the 33rd America's Cup last February in Valencia. It would have been completely different had the two boats been monohulls.
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