Teams give their final thoughts about the racing and the task ahead
Brad Butterworth, afterguard, Alinghi, on how much the ‘legacy’ factor contributes to the success of his team: “I think it’s all a reflection of 2003. The people that we have are much the same. We have new people who have helped us. When Russell (Coutts) was putting the team together for this team, he hired some great people, so we have a pretty good legacy now that he’s gone. We have a lot of experience in our group now and we’re not making that many mistakes and that’s the game. You have to eliminate mistakes.”
Philippe Mourniac, tactician, China Team, on a tough week: “It was a tough week. Touch because of the conditions, tough for us because we couldn’t practice between Valencia and here. Our main goal is to be better and better day after day. We’ve improved here in Malmö but today we are still far behind the other teams.
Dean Barker, skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand, on watching Alinghi roll over the fleet?again: “I don’t think we’re intimidated. It’s impressive what they’ve done. There’s still a long, long way to go. I think they’re still reaping the rewards and benefits of such a strong campaign in 2003. They’ve obviously stepped it up another level again, but the boats they have are very, very good.”
Magnus Holmberg, skipper, Victory Challenge, on the last fleet race not being sailed: “With regard to our situation, we would have preferred to have two or even better, three races today! We’ve performed just as poorly in Malmö as we performed well in Valencia. These past two weeks have been really tough for us and it’s been hard to get back on the water, day after day. But we have received fantastic support from local fans and that has been a huge help to us.”
Jesper Radich, coach, Desafío Español, on improvements since Valencia: “Every single race we did in Valencia was kind of stressful because we just weren’t prepared enough. We survived in Valencia, but here we’re racing.”
Tom Weaver, Team Manager, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team, on where his team fits in the fleet: “The fleet racing was not so much of an issue for us, but in the match racing we had two break downs on the first day which really set us back. But we do think Luna Rossa is beatable, the Spanish are going better and beatable but the boat that appears to be unbeatable right now is Alinghi.”
Bertrand Pace, tactician, BMW ORACLE Racing, on how to beat Alinghi: “Alinghi has the quickest boat and the most optimised boat. SUI 75 is good in light air, strong airs and match racing as well and they are able to change mode very quickly. At this stage I don’t think any challenger is able to do that. But, SUI75 is a good rule five boat and we’re using a rule four version and I think next year when our new boat arrives Alinghi will no longer be unbeatable.”
Tom Schoettle, navigator, United Internet Team Germany, on progress for his team: “We feel that everything is coming together now. We don’t have a dominating person on the boat, it is a very good team. Everybody has a lot of experience on the water, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.”
Geoff Meek, Shosholoza, on changes to his team ahead of Trapani: “We’re going back to having South Africans steering in Trapani, myself and Ian [Ainslie], but we’ll have an international tactician, who is 99 per cent likely to be Dee Smith. He’s done a couple of match racing events, where the boat he’s done tactics for has done very well. He’s got so much experience we think he’ll be a good lead.”
James Spithill, helmsman, Luna Rossa, analysing his week: “First half of Malmo, we made a few mistakes, and I don’t feel like we sailed as well as we did in Valencia. The second half, the fleet racing, I think we sailed well but we were a little unlucky. I thought the crew did an amazing job all week, and that showed when we had that jib failure in the final race. No one got unsettled; we lost just one boat which in a fleet race is pretty impressive. The goal now is to step up our match racing before Trapani.”
Thierry Peponnet, skipper, K-Challenge, on what his team needs to work on: “We have made a lot of progress in many areas, but we have to do more to score points in the match races. We saved face with our win in the fleet race on Saturday, but that shouldn’t hide the many little points we still have to work on. We have the potential to compete with the best, but we have more work to do.”.
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