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Prada invited to try Wellington’s Wind!

Media Release – For Immediate Release
Thursday 2 March 2000

Prada invited to try Wellington’s Wind!

The Italian owner of a boutique hotel in Wellington has invited the crew of the Prada Challenge to a dinner in their honour. Raffaele Muollo, whose family has lived in Wellington since 1925, has written to Francesco de Angelis offering him, his crew and their partners a weekend at Hotel Raffaele, on the edge of Wellington’s Lambton Harbour. The family would also host a dinner in honour of the team.

Mr Muollo has written to Francesco de Angelis to invite him and his team to Wellington. “We are very proud of Prada’s achievements this summer,” he says. “Italy is not known for its world class yachtsmen, but Francesco and his team have done us proud. We have been absolutely amazed by their achievements.”

“We’ve invited Francesco and the crew to be our personal guests at Hotel Raffaele for a weekend, and we want to honour them with a dinner. After such an intensive programme of training and racing, we’re sure they will need to unwind. And where better to do this than in an hotel overlooking one of the country’s most picturesque harbours?”

Mr Muollo says that the America’s Cup has been very exciting for his family. “For us, the excitement has been double,” he says. “It’s been a edge-of-the-seat experience.”

“It’s been thrilling to see Prada sailing with such precision and success against many of the world’s most disciplined and determined teams. They are awesome. We are also very proud to be kiwis - Team New Zealand are a force to be reckoned with and of course we hope the cup is here to stay!”

Mr Muollo says that the idea of inviting the Prada crew for a weekend at Hotel Raffaele and hosting a banquet dinner for them was sparked by a conversation around the family table after a recent race. “The team is so focussed on their challenge. We thought that after the finals are over, they should relax and enjoy being in New Zealand. Besides, there’s plenty of sailing to be done in Wellington!”

Although Mr Muollo hasn’t received any official response from the Prada camp yet, he is confident that his family’s offer will be taken up. “We don’t expect to hear from them until the racing is over.”

[ends]

A copy of the letter sent to Prada Challenge is attached.

Antoinette Moullo
General Manager
Hotel Raffaele
04 384 3450

1 March 2000

Francesco de Angelis
Skipper
Prada Challenge
Freeman’s Bay
AUCKLAND

By facsimile: 09-357-0942


Dear Francesco

AN ENCLUSIVE INVITATION FROM AN ITALIAN FAMILY IN WELLINGTON

We are an Italian family whose parents came from the Sorrento area years ago. We have been watching your America’s Cup challenge with great interest.

We own and manage a boutique hotel - Hotel Raffaele - on the edge of Wellington’s harbour. We would like to invite you, your fifteen crew members and partners to be our personal quests for a weekend at Hotel Raffaele after you have finished racing Team New Zealand. We would like to help you relax and unwind after months of intense training and racing, and we wish to honour you by hosting a dinner in our award winning restaurant.

This race series has been immensely exciting for us. Living in New Zealand, we have followed Team New Zealand’s progress since their successful challenge of the America’s Cup in San Diego, and we have been inspired by their commitment, teamwork and amazing focus.

During the Louis Vuitton Cup series and over the last ten days, we have also been transfixed by the amazing achievements of the Prada Challenge. We Italians are not a yachting nation, yet you and your crew have shown the world that we can take on a challenge with passion, professionalism and determination. Our family is very proud of your team, and proud to be Italian.

We do hope that you can accept our invitation, and we wish you all the best with the remaining races.

Kind regards


Raffaele Muollo
Owner

PS Il vento e meglio in Wellington!!

[Translation: The wind is much better in Wellington!!]

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