JULY 4 — Winning its fifth straight match race over Emirates Team New Zealand, the Swiss-backed sail racing team Alinghi won the 32nd America’s Cup off Valencia, Spain, Tuesday afternoon.
The match races were close competitions with team Alinghi claiming come-from-behind victories in the final three races, including Tuesday’s in which the yacht inched ahead to win by one second, a news release says. Alinghi took the matches 5 to 2.
“I love this team,” Alinghi president Ernesto Bertarelli was quoted as saying moments after the finish. Alinghi defended the Cup, having won the 31st America’s Cup in 2003, beating the American-backed BMW-Oracle team funded by software mogul Larry Ellison.
“This is definitely bigger and better than last time,” Bertarelli says in the release. “It has been much, much harder than I ever thought it would be. I think I was a bit naive in 2003 when I won. I have learned more about the America’s Cup over the last 10 days than I have learned over the last seven years.”
Emirates Team New Zealand’s managing director, Grant Dalton, says his team was outperformed by Alinghi. “Our guys have done an amazing job and right now the guys aren’t feeling that sharp — it’s been a long four years,” he says in the release. “I’m of course enormously proud of them, but Alinghi did a better job than us.”
Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth was proud of his team’s accomplishment. “This is a fantastic day for Alinghi, to win the America’s Cup again after four years of hard work,” he says in the release. “The crew, the designers and the shore team have done an incredible job throughout the series; we have fought hard against a strong competitor and have won. We’ll be celebrating tonight!”
— Jason Fell