Cayard Mentors Desafio Espanol

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NBCayard
Acm 2007/photo:guido Trombetta

Former Louis Vuitton Cup winner and ocean racing legend Paul Cayard spent the last two months as a technical and sporting advisor for Desafio Español. He gave the following interview to America's Cup publicist Paco Tormo:What was your main role in Desafio Español 2007?I mostly gave them ideas on what the priorities should be at this late stage in the competition. In the America's Cup you make a plan two years before, and you also start a lot of projects. Research into special masts, special keels, rudders… Many projects are put in motion. And you get to the end and obviously these plans aren't all finished. One mistake is to continue spending money, time and energy chasing something that isn't going to give any fruit. With experience you know which ones to cut to save energy, time, and money, and use it somewhere else where you will see the results. That is really the important game in the end. Besides the budget, what are the main differences between a winning team and a losing team?The difference is when to make a decision. If a team has been chasing after something for a year and a half and still nothing has come from it then it must be forgotten. Whether it is a decision about the boat, the crew, or whatever, there is often a tendency to keep discussing and worrying about something when you just have to make a decision. One of my philosophies is that if two things are so similar that it makes it hard to decide then you should just pick one, because it doesn't matter. It is important not to waste any more time on it because there is probably something else that will make much more of a difference, where you really need the time. If you get it wrong in that case you can lose a lot, but if two things are going to have a similar outcome, it's not worth wasting any more time on it, since in the end it will be the same anyway. The Cup has got to a stage where all the teams are multicultural, what are the challenges they are facing?One big challenge for the Desafio is not only the language but the culture, and I know it well because I worked with Il Moro di Venezia as an American. When you have multicultural teams I think everybody has to come to a common denominator that is not the language. So what is it? The professionalism, respect and solidarity: the fact that everyday at 8:00 a.m. we are all in the gym fighting together. When we lose the race, we lose together, and when we win the race we win together. It goes beyond the language and the culture. You have to go beyond that to find what it is that is keeping us together. And I hope that by just talking about it we made everybody think about it. But for sure that is going to be a challenge for Desafio. Every team will lose a race here with somebody that they thought they should beat. But the question is, when they lose that race, are they going to lose their solidarity as well? What was a typical day like with Desafio?8:00 a.m. gym, 9:00 a.m. shower, 9:15 a.m. breakfast, 9:45 a.m. interviews, 10:15 a.m. head of departments meeting, crew meeting, then performance meeting. 12:30 p.m. out on the water. 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. dock, take sails off the boat, fold genoas in the loft. Short meeting for department heads to make a plan, performance analysis of the day. 8:00 p.m. home.