Will what we see be what we get at the 33rd America’s Cup?

Losing for either team will be a crushing blow. The acrimony that has surrounded the build up to this bitter 33rd America’s Cup has led even the most ardent Cup followers and supporters to be suspicious as to whether what we see on the race course will actually prevail as the final result.

Few doubt that a return to court would do further damage to an already tarnished event and yet there are several serious legal issues waiting in the wings.

So what will happen if either team loses?

Before the first race started Alinghi’s president and helmsman Ernesto Bertarelli said, “As far as I’m concerned, whatever happens on the water is the final decision.

“If Larry wants to meet after the Cup to discuss the future I’ll be very happy to do that.”

After the team’s defeat yesterday Bertarelli was again asked whether the result would be challenged in court should they lose.

“The race was fair and so whoever wins on the water as far as we’re concerned will be the winner.”

When asked, before the racing started, about the possibility of further legal action following the close of racing, BMW Oracle’s CEO Russell Coutts said,

“As you know there have been many issues before this race and it’s unfortunate that this should happen, but for the moment we’re putting all that to one side and are ready to go racing,” he said. “We’re certainly one hundred percent focussed on racing as fast as we can in this race. We are not considering any of the other stuff at this point.”

Aside from the issues of whether what we see is what we finally get, there’s been plenty of speculation as to who the next Challenger of Record might be.

The latest gossip is that the Italian team Mascalzone Latino and its yacht club be the next Challenger of record should BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club be successful. Yet there appears to be a possible problem with this following the team principal’s recent announcement that he has left his yacht club.

“A conflict has arisen between Mr. Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, and myself,” said Vincenzo Onorato.

“Notwithstanding the wrongdoings I have put up with, it is appropriate that between a Commodore and a member, the member resign.”

Sunday, if there’s racing, looks like being a very revealing day.