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Americas Cup Press Conference Quotes

Americas Cup Press Conference Quotes

Wednesday, 1 March 2000

Russell Coutts, Skipper of Team New Zealand, on the code zero: “It’s a sail that we have been practicing with for two and a half years now in secrecy or as much as possible. Many of the other teams knew about it last month or two months before the Cup. It is very late to try and practice using something that is that new. Today we probably didn’t need to use it very much, but in practice we obviously found it to be useful and we would use it again on another light day.”

Francesco de Angelis, Skipper of Luna Rossa, on not covering Team New Zealand when Prada was ahead: “We wanted to start towards the pin on port because we felt the wind was in left phase. Then we went to the right to take the next shift and we stayed right and at that stage we crossed, thinking that the wind could have shifted back left. But probably we should have treated the shift like a persistent one.”

Torben Grael, Tactician of Luna Rossa, on Mr. Bertelli’s ‘Suicide Tactics’ Statement: “He thought that we gave Russell (Coutts) a birthday present. It wasn’t intended. I think we are the first ones to feel bad about it and Patrizio (Bertelli) has the right to be upset as well, that’s why he made that statement. We didn’t see it as suicide. We thought we were doing the right thing and it ended up it was not. That is part of racing, it can’t always go right, sometimes it goes wrong and when it goes wrong you might seem a little stupid.”

Francesco de Angelis, Skipper of Luna Rossa, on Mr. Bertelli’s ‘Suicide Tactics’ statement “The statement is pretty straightforward, there is not much to say about it. That is his feeling and the facts are clear and there is not much more to say.”

Russell Coutts, Skipper of Team New Zealand, on Prada not covering them: “We didn’t really have an option, we couldn’t do a lee bow tack on them because we were too far back. We had to dip them and the choice was theirs. I must say as we crossed past their stern, I was concerned whether we made the right move, and only as the situation developed did it become clear. It’s a tough place to race out there, we got the roll of the dice on that occasion and that gave us an advantage and so that was the first big break of the race.”

Russell Coutts, Skipper of Team New Zealand, on going to the right: “We didn’t expect more pressure to the right, in fact today was a day that was about as confused as I’ve ever seen out there. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration but certainly amongst the more confused sailing days and as we crossed tacks I thought it was possibly slightly better where they were going for the first 30 seconds and then as the situation developed it looked better and better at our side.”

Francesco de Angelis, Skipper of Luna Rossa, on the use of Mr. Bertelli’s ‘Suicide Tactics’ statement: “It doesn’t help to have it before the press conference. What I can say is that a sailing team tries to find its own strength and resources in yourself. I don’t know if that statement could make the team more angry for the next race. I think everybody has the desire inside to win, so I don’t think that will change much.”

Russell Coutts, Skipper of Team New Zealand, on equaling Charlie Barr’s record: “I think the America’s Cup is full of tradition. I certainly had read about Charlie Barr without actually knowing about that record. As for the record, this is really a team achievement and there’s plenty of people on that boat who have won nine races in a row.”

Francesco de Angelis, Skipper of Luna Rossa, on the spirit in the team: “A couple of things have changed from the beginning of the series. (laughter) But still I’m happy with the team that I have, I know that any time we go racing we just want to do the best that we can and of course we try to win.”

Tom Schnackenberg, Navigator on Team New Zealand, on the Black Boat’s performance in various conditions: “You’re right. We were pleased to sail today in light winds and find that the boat is competitive, so that answers the question that remained in our minds. If tomorrow’s conditions are only moderate then we will actually finish the regatta without really knowing how we would go against Luna Rossa in strong winds.”

Russell Coutts, Skipper of Team New Zealand, on potentially scaring challengers off with a 5-0 score: “I think one of the attractions of the America’s Cup is that it is a challenge. It is not the world’s easiest sporting contest and putting all the parts of the puzzle together is a difficult thing to achieve. And if we have put up a good performance this time, and if we did win in five, I am sure that would spur a lot of teams on to try and meet that challenge.”


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