Paul Cayard will be a spectator at the America's Cup for the first time this decade and AmericaOne's chief executive and skipper thinks his twin role in the yachting syndicate might be partly to blame.
Paul Cayard will be a spectator at the America’s Cup for the first time this decade and AmericaOne’s chief executive and skipper thinks his twin role in the yachting syndicate might be partly to blame.
Cayard, a challenger for the cup in 1992 with Italy and a defender with Stars & Stripes in 1995 when Team New Zealand won, said the extra demands on him with AmericaOne meant he was not as good a sailor this time. “We came very close, but close doesn’t count in this game,” Cayard said. “There is no second, and for the first time in a long time I’m going to be a spectator at the America’s Cup.” Cayard said Prada’s campaign had set the benchmark for challengers, with no others able to match the $120 million spent by the Italians which allowed them to set up early in Auckland.
But he said the United States had “deluded” itself in believing several syndicates challenging for the cup was good. He said the US would be better to concentrate resources on its best chances. “For me personally, I probably am not as good a sailor in this cup as I was in ’92 or ’95. Just because I haven’t spent as much time as I should have done to prepare for this on the sailing side. “But again, Prada’s the model and we did a damn good job with what we had and I’m very proud of it.”
Cayard said he was conscious of the fact he was the last hope for the US, and he was sorry not to win the finals. “We definitely did our best. I think one of the factors for America this time was we were too deluded. Having five or six teams from the United States is not the best way to put our best foot forward.”
Cayard said he did not underestimate the competition. He said Prada had always set the standard other challengers had to reach. “I had a lot of respect for them. I knew they’d be fast, I knew they were well-trained, I knew they were well-coached, I knew they had everything they needed. I knew they’d be very tough to beat. “But the competitor in me, and in the position I’m in and even in my own life, I believed we could win.
“It was very very close. You have to see yourself winning in order to win. I definitely saw myself winning. “Congratulations to Prada, they did an awesome job.” Cayard said visiting Auckland had been a life experience for his family, with his children even going to school in the city. “Thank you Auckland, and thanks for building this great venue, and thanks to everybody who honked their horn and clapped and waved and cheered. It made it, for all of us, a very special regatta”.