Valencia Life Network News- Interview with Ernesto

Ernesto Bertarelli sees the future of the America’s Cup being staged in his vision - sailed at venues around the world who bid for the rights, and no nationality rules,
MCC McCamp

The publishers of Valencia Life Network News have provided these two stories from Valencia. The first is the continued sponsorship of Desafio Espanol. The second is an interview with Ernesto Bertarelli, published in the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, where he expands on his open letter, and his rather new and different views on the direction of the America's Cup - which preclude a Defender defending in their home waters.

The Valencian Government has revealed that it intends to continue its sponsorship of The Spanish Challenge and some sources are saying the the CNEV is one thing, but equally the SNG equally doesn't have a grand maritime tradition. The other Spanish Challenge syndicate Ayre is being linked to the Denia Royal Yacht Club that does have regattas and all the rest

A local paper has published what it says is an exclusive interview with Bertarelli translation below (rough translation from the Spanish)

Interviewer: Why did you decide to write an open letter about the future of the Americas Cup

EB I have been thinking about that letter for a long time, and I had to do something. When people say the Protocol is unjust what they mean is that the Americas Cup is unjust. The Deed of Gift gives the right to the Defender to organize the event and this is a concept that is very difficult to defend. Anyone can criticise if the Defender has more or less of an advantage, but this is how the Americas Cup is conceived. I think we have to put on the table a new concept of the regatta

Interviewer: What direction should the competition take
EB We have the opportunity to open up the Americas Cup to the world, that will alter its location in much the same way as the Olympic Games. It could be first in Valencia, then the next time in San Francisco, and then we could go to China, and three years later, Valencia again. And we want a Defender that has the same conditions as the rest of the teams and a competition that doesn't depend on the money of rich people (Bertarelli is the 72nd richest person in the world [PG]) but should be supported by sponsors. It has been shown that technically anyone can go to the courts in New York and oblige a judge to make a decision. One day he could find in your favour, but on the following occasion no. Therefore we can never be sure

Interviewer How can you get this certainty
EB If there was a permanent body representing the teams, we would have an event as well as the rules, projects could be planned, and agreements could be made with the sponsors and the future crews. If we had lost the Cup it would have been the end of Alinghi because Emirates Team New Zealand wanted to adjust the nationality rules and we wouldn't have been able to compete. With this format, the only certainty that we have is that who wins decides the rules, but this is not sufficient in the world of today and on top of that, it has been shown that a team can upset the legal order of things
Interviewer: So what should be the road map for the future

EB Finally everyone wants a successful Americas Cup, and this is what Larry (Ellison) told me last week.We have to find the way, the new instrument for the Cup. We will have a meeting with BMW ORacle Racing next Monday in New York. We will talk of many things amongst which will be this new proposal. We will also have to talk about the legal situation as it currently stands and the options that exist and the most probable thing is that if we arrive at an agreement that we will leave behind us the idea of competing in multihulls
Interviewer: After so many fruitless meetings with the Americans, do you think that now you can find some points in common

EB: There are three options: appeal the decision of Judge Herman Cahn; I can continue to negotiate the Protocol that we agreed with the Spanish but we have already spent four months talking about this, and it seems impossible to find a solution. And the third option is to compete in catamarans. But I think there could be another alternative. If we can agree over altering the Deed of Gift, changing the way the Cup is administered and alter its format, we may have another option. I know that this is not a perfect plan and many people will criticize me for it, but we must try and bring the Cup into a new era. And when we have an agreement with Ellison, the rest will probably follow
Interviewer: Have you spoken with the rest of the teams over this proposal
EB No, only with the New York Yacht Club a few months ago because they are the founders of the Cup. And they understand that there is a problem with the format as it currently is

Interviewer: If BMW Oracle agrees with you, when do you believe that the competition could take place.
EB 2009 is now quite impossible, but if we negotiate, why not 2010 or 2011

Interviewer: Did Valencia ever stand a chance of not staging the Cup
EB No, everyone agrees that Valencia is the best site for the next races

This story very kindly provided by The Valencia Life Network News whuch is a bulletin of information about the Valencian Community that is published every morning except Mondays. Any comments or suggestions are most welcome, as well as are new subscribers: publisher@valencialife.net
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