Ellison, Bertarelli Like the New Cup

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Acm 2007/photo:carlo Borlenghi

At a press event for team owners prior to the Louis Vuitton Cup (the start of which was postponed on Monday due to a lack of wind), Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli voiced their approval of the new America's Cup format. "We have done a lot of racing. We have had the 13 Louis Vuitton Acts. We have more teams competing than there were in New Zealand and there are more countries represented," said Ellison, owner of BMW Oracle Racing."All of those things make it more exciting for the teams and the fans," continued Ellison, who with Alinghi head Bertarelli initiated the new Acts format following the 2003 America's Cup. One of the questions that has constantly arisen in the new format is who benefits more, the defender or the challengers. "The fact that we have been sailing against each other for several years has allowed everybody to learn from everybody else," said Ellison. "It has helped the defender for sure, but not more than it has helped the challengers. It has leveled the playing field, much more so than if we had all stayed at home for four years and designed for ourselves."Confirming this view, Bertarelli said the Alinghi team had gone over previous archives and had been surprised at how much the standard of sailing has improved. "It was a bit like looking at 1970s football," he said, "where you get the impression that everybody is walking rather than running. When you look at the 2003 sailing footage, you will realize just how much the game has improved," he added, noting that the high intensity maneuvers like mark roundings and tacking were particularly revealing.