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Southern Spars - North Technology

Grant Dalton interviewed by ValenciaSailing.com

by ValenciaSailing.Com on 14 May 2009
Emirates Team New Zealand NZL380 round the left side of the gate at the bottom mark in the second race on day one of the Trofeo Ciudad de Alicante regatta of the MedCup circuit. The first race was canceled as the wind died away during the second leg. 13/5/2009 Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ ©

ValenciaSailing.Com interviewed Emirates Team New Zealand's CEO, Grant Dalton, before the start of proper racing in the MedCup Circuit, in Alicante, Spain:

'We have to be very careful and not over expect in the first regatta because we still haven't learned the boat and got our combination going although we pretty naturally fit together because we have been sailing with each other. I think the differential of the boat will become more apparent with more wind. In the light conditions we had yesterday a little puff for someone makes a big difference. We feel very comfortable but there are 6 teams vying for the top spot.

This TP52 campaign is not a substitute for our America's Cup campaign and we will most probably not continue next year. I struggle to see how the next America's Cup match can't take place other than February, in Valencia or somewhere else. Then hopefully, the next conventional Cup will be in 2011. If it's in 2012 then it will be very tough. Most people will be in retirement or close to it. There will certainly be a lot more activity until February and we saw that today, with allegations and counter allegations. Our hope, and certainly BMW Oracle's hope, is that it will be all finished by February.

Emirates Airlines is a sponsor of our team but the majority of funding for our participation in the Medcup comes from one of our major supporters, Matteo de Nora. He is really behind our team at the moment. Our sponsors are all there, all in place for a Cup.

Our aim is to, obviously, win the 2009 Medcup and this is what another 5-6 team are trying as well. Yet, I was told that the average place that won the season last year was 4.5 so in our internal discussions with the afterguard our main goal is to be consistent and not swing from one end of the fleet to the other. Overall, at the end of the season consistency is the key and I believe that as a team, we are better than 2 years ago when we were beaten by Alinghi.

Emirates Team New Zealand is not interested in participating in a multihull America's Cup, as Alinghi pretends. This is obviously just PR propaganda from Alinghi and it is completely ridiculous. We seriously question this pseudo-challenge that comes from the reincarnation of +39.'

For further interviews and Audi MedCup coverage on ValenciaSailing.com www.ValenciaSailing.com!click_here
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