The Valencia based website, www.vsail.info (who are much better translators of Italian than we) are reporting an interview given to an Italian newspaper by Vincenzo Onorato, owner of Mascalzone Latino, who sent an open letter on Thursday, announcing that due to impossibility of finding the adequate funding to mount a competitive campaign, his team was withdrawing from the America’s Cup.
Still there has been no acknowledgement by the Club Nautico di Roma on the situation, whether they are going to try an run without a team, whether they are looking to work with another (new?) Italian team, or whether they too will withdraw and allow a more active club to take over the role of Challenger of Record.
Following his announcement, Onorato spoke to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, answering a number of straightforward questions. Onorato states his team would have been unable to be competitive but at the same he says it wouldn’t be 'right' to put a spending cap in place. The day after for Vincenzo Onorato is a slalom between accusations and regrets. A slalom that he, the charismatic owner of Mascalzone Latino, deals with the usual dose of irony and philosophy. He jokes a bit about it, he explains a bit but also feels some pain. It never happened that the Challenger of Record – a very prestigious role in the America’s Cup that is attributed to the first challenger that is called to make the rules together with the defender in the interests of all other participants – it has never happened, it is said, that a Challenger of Record would withdraw from the competition.
La Repubblica: Onorato, the comments on the international blogs and specialized media are pretty hard on you.
Vincenzo Onorato: This is also a demonstration of affection. They obviously love us.
La Repubblica: In essence, they say, how is it possible that you made the rules, the format of the competition is yours, the economic parameters are those chosen by you, and you first aren’t able to find the money?
Vincenzo Onorato: It’s an incorrect statement: we have found the money to do the Cup. Indeed I thank the sponsors that trusted us.
La Repubblica: Then why did you withdraw?
Vincenzo Onorato: Because we did not have enough funds to effectively compete with the big guys. That is, to try to win the Cup. I am a sportsman. A sailor and a sportsman. I really have no interest in participating without competing.
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