America’s Cup, in London all together passionately


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challengersAir of celebration in the America’s Cup … the first joint act of the entire 2017 edition operation was in fact in London at the splendid St Pancras Renassaince Hotel, chosen not coincidentally because it is also the arrival station for the Eurostar and many connections of the former capital of the Empire with the world. And the world was there: five challengers and the defender, awaiting a sixth challenger in the coming months. The photo still gives us the best of the sail.

Who Oracle’s five challengers are we know well by now. Luna Rossa with Max Sirena is working to replace the resigned COR (Challenger of Record) with a challenger committee. It had been more or less like this back in 1992 and 1995, when the COR to not force interpretations of the Deed of Gift existed but shared with proxies and men every decision with the other challengers. The spirit was also to create a solid and compact block “against” the defender to “snatch the Cup from the Americans.” Now things are a little different, the meetings we have had so far have been attended by everyone, including Defender, to share programs and ambitions, and there is a desire to arrive at a challenging committee for a major event before other considerations.

Insider rumors say that for the past few weeks Russell Coutts has been “more tractable than usual,” could be a sign that some of his ideas have been muted. A very tough guy has also arrived to work on the business aspects and the organization of the World Series. His name is Harvey Shiller and scrolling through his resume reveals that he has earned a Flying Cross in the United States Air Force. He has worked extensively with baseball and seems to understand the meaning of the word “public.”

Oracle skipper James Spithill gave the honor of arms to San Francisco loser Dean Barker: “Team New Zealand is the favorite.”
. Perhaps it is true, rising from such a hard defeat can give extreme strength. Dean “Dino” seems to practice well the old saying “calm is the virtue of the strong,” and he hides well a situation that on the other side of the world is not so easy, with newspapers accusing him and Dalton of getting rich off Cups. Barker is scion of a prominent family; let’s let Grant have the right to be one of the highest paid athletes in sailing with what he has done in his life.

Ben Ainslie, forced by the role to come out of his autistic singleton shell, spoke of “budgets at a good point, we’ll do anything to win, if I had to race tomorrow I’d be the coxswain, but in two years things might change.” Frank Cammas presented Team France: let’s face it, if a man like this cannot find financial support at home it will be really difficult for France to regain a role in the top sailing event. Most smiling? Nathan Outteridge of Artemis, young and happy in his role, watched from a distance by Iain Percy the overachiever and skipper.

Antonio Vettese



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