Sailing: Bertelli attacks new America's Cup formula

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The Independent Online

An angry broadside about the way this year's America's Cup has been organised was fired in the host city yesterday by the Italian syndicate manager, Patrizio Bertelli.

After watching his wife, Miuccia Prada, smash the launching bottle of champagne on his new £3m Lunar Rossa, Bertelli said, of what was meant to be a bright new era for the trophy: "I do not believe the new formula improves the conditions, especially for new challengers. The gap between them and the defender is greater than before."

He also criticised the choice of Valencia as the stage for this year's event saying: "We don't feel a love of sailing in Valencia." His view was endorsed by his Australian helmsman James Spithill, who said the world match race circuit was driven entirely by financial considerations. He said many of the venues were not good enough to stage a world championship level event but were chosen because they put up the money.