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Team Capitalia 3rd Italian team to challenge

Team Capitalia becomes the third Italian team to challenge for the 32nd America's Cup

Valencia, 23rd March, 2005 – Team Capitalia becomes the third Italian Challenger for the 32nd America’s Cup, presenting its team in a public ceremony in Naples today. Distinguished by an ‘all-Italian’ sailing team, and with the support of its main partner Capitalia, an Italian banking group, the team formerly known as Mascalzone Latino has high expectations for its campaign.

This is the second consecutive challenge for the team led by Italian shipping and ferry service magnate Vincenzo Onorato. Representing the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, Team Capitalia has ITA-72 from the 2002 campaign in Auckland, and has just acquired the two Stars & Stripes boats, USA-66 and USA-77, from Team Dennis Conner.

In Auckland in 2002, as a new team to the America’s Cup there were many highlights along the way for Mascalzone Latino, including an exciting win over the Frenc h team and a tough, memorable battle with its Italian rivals.

Despite an early exit from the event, Onorato wasn’t too disappointed, having come into the Louis Vuitton Cup looking to gain experience for further challenges. “It is useless to compete in just one America’s Cup,” he said at the time when his team was eliminated. “You have to try and try and try and learn and try again.”

“In the last America’s Cup, we were competing to learn,” Onorato explained on Wednesday in Naples, where the team was presented publicly for the first time. “This time, we are serious. I like the feeling on this team. We are focused and committed to fight to the end.”

The new team will be led on the water by skipper and tactician Vasco Vascotto, a newcomer to the America’s Cup squad, who will rely on helmsman Flavio Favini to steer the boat. Favini was tactician in the last Mascalzone Latino Cup campaign.

There are now three Italian challengers for the 32nd Am erica’s Cup, along with a pair of Louis Vuitton Acts scheduled in Italy at the end of the 2005 season, the Trapani Louis Vuitton Acts 8 & 9, beginning on the 29th of September.

“Italy has a very proud history in the modern era of the America’s Cup,” said Michel Bonnefous, the CEO of the America’s Cup organiser. “With the America’s Cup in Europe for the first time, I’m happy that there is so much Italian support for the event. This kind of excitement in Europe is exactly what we wanted with the Cup coming to the continent. We now have a very strong Italian presence in this 32nd America’s Cup, and I’m happy to welcome a third Italian team to the event.”

Team Capitalia’s challenge on behalf of the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia was accepted by the Swiss Defender of the America’s Cup, the Société Nautique de Genève, on the 9th of March.

The team will begin training for the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 4 & 5 (June 16-26) from its base on the Island of E lba, before coming to Valencia later this spring for its first taste of racing in the 32nd America’s Cup.

Note to editors:

Since 1851, the America’s Cup has transcended the sport of sailing to become a symbol of the pursuit of excellence.

The official partners LOUIS VUITTON, ENDESA, GRUPO SANTANDER, ALCATEL and the America’s Cup share a heritage rich in passion, innovation and extraordinary human achievement.

The 32nd America’s Cup enjoys the support of Nespresso, Adecco, and Ford; our Supporters, and valuable contributors to the America’s Cup.

Racing for the 32nd America’s Cup - Valencia continues in 2005 and 2006, with several more Louis Vuitton Acts in various locations in Northern and Southern Europe, including Valencia, the Host City of the 32nd America’s Cup.

In 2007, a fleet race event will precede the Louis Vuitton Cup, whose winner will then race the Defender, Team Alinghi, in the America’s Cup Match in Valencia


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