The skipper with the mustache Moor of Venice (San Diego ’92), become the great enemy of Luna Rossa at the helm of America One (Auckland 2000), today a 61-year-old Californian sailor with whitened curls – will it be saltiness? – and an insane passion for flying. No, not that of the Ac75s that tonight return to take off in the Prada Cup final: Luna Rossa against the English of Ineos for a place in the America’s Cup, from March 6, against the owners of Team New Zealand. I just got another patent: I fly a Cessna 421, now I go more by plane than by boat, says Paul Cayard from San Francisco, where he has a house, yacht club and major projects for American sailing in view of the Los Angeles 2028 Games. the helmsman of the first Italian boat to win the selection of challengers – al Moro di Gardini in ’92 following Bertelli’s Moon in 2000 -, still beloved in Italy, is happy to return to talking about sailing. If that of Auckland, with the boats whizzing at a hundred per hour and the sailors dressed as astronauts (copyright Cino Ricci), can still be defined as sailing.
Do you like it, Cayard?
I thought worse, I’m telling the truth. I believed that large differences in speed would make racing less interesting. But no. For me, I lack the stories of the men, the maneuvers on board, the close-up action: the spinnakers exploding, the bowmen falling into the water, the boats stern to bow with the helmsmen sculling to get the penalty. The America’s Cup that I have known for 35 years was like this.
America’s Cup, from Conner to Coutts the 5 skippers who changed the history of sailing (there is also an Italian, De Angelis)
Hasn’t the speed of the Ac75 conquered you?
The most beautiful speed in Formula 1, where there are ten cars running. But when there are two of them and one boat goes 2% faster than the other, it’s over: speed itself, without competition, boring. It seems more iceboating: do you know those sails that run on ice? At least there is the fleet.
As a sailor, would you be curious to take the helm of Auckland’s monsters?
Very very much! But at my age I put a stone on that game: at 61 you can’t compete with boys, it would be ridiculous. Another cup as CEO of a union, however, I would do.
On which boats?
I don’t mind the Mini Maxi: on traditional monohulls, capable of doing 40 knots astern, the crew would make a difference again. But you can’t go back: it would be a bad image for the America’s Cup.
Would you bet a dollar on Luna Rossa or Prada Cup winner Ineos?
Red Moon. Imagining it similar to Ineos in speed, I see the organization aboard Francesco Bruni and Jimmy Spithill as better. I see a more stable boat and fewer people running back and forth, like on the English hull. And Checco is not number two, not inferior to Jimmy. Rather, I wonder why the whole boat speaks English rather than Italian ….
Because Spithill didn’t want to learn Italian, perhaps! I think they thought about it and then discarded the idea. English in a boat is more immediate, I know from experience that the crew responds better to calls than with Latin languages.
Luna Rossa big favorite to reach the America’s Cup, therefore.
a refined boat, the most beautiful in the fleet. Hull, foils, perfect sails, black and sharp. Besides, it has the fattest mainsail of all. I like it.
Does the choice of the double helmsman convince you?
S. In such short races, you make decisions first. Bruni and Spithill also know how to be a tactician, if necessary.
America’s Cup, Luna Rossa in Prada Cup: the 7 weapons to beat Ineos in the final
A very open ending
Can we call the American Magic campaign, which cost about $ 10 million per race (14 in total), a failure?
Oh yes. They will have to reflect on an accident, the near-shipwreck in the Hauraki Gulf, which was not supposed to happen.
Your most indelible memory of the adventure with the Moor of Venice?
The quarrel on the bowsprit with the New Zealanders, the comeback from 1-3, the battle in the Vuitton Cup final. I remember the panic the morning when the kiwis decided to put Russel Coutts at the helm. Paul, what now? the crew asked me. And now let’s race, I replied. We triumphed 5-3, finishing with two wins in a row.
Did he keep relics?
The red jacket with the lion of the Compagnia della Vela di Venezia, our guidone. Almost thirty years later, I still wear it.
February 12, 2021 (change February 12, 2021 | 07:07)
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