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Five Questions for Peter Reggio

At Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena, SW's Angus Phillips interviews PRO Peter Reggio.

May 24, 2010
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**1. How did you get the nickname Luigi?
**There were five guys on the floor named Peter when I worked at North Sails-Connecticut in the 1970s. I got Luigi because of my last name. The ones (nicknames) for the other four are unprintable.

**2. Were you disappointed not to run the last America’s Cup in Valencia?
**No. I’m American and there was a U.S. boat involved, so it wasn’t going to happen. We should all be grateful it was Harold Bennett. He’s as fair as fair can be. I wouldn’t have been less fair, but I probably would have been less diplomatic about the events on the committee boat (when Swiss representatives balked at starting the final race).

**3. What’s your favorite venue for AC boats?
**Auckland was the most challenging, from my standpoint and the sailors’. Marseilles was best for visuals, with the limestone rocks, islands, and the incredible images that came from that event. The most enjoyable was Trapani (in Sicily), because the people were really involved. They even let the kids out of school. Everyone came out.

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**4. How about La Maddalena?
**I’ve been to Porto Cervo a lot, which is only 12 miles down the coast. We ran the J-24 Worlds in these waters two years ago. They call it “Bomb Alley” because the mistral funnels down through the Straits and it can get really bad, but this time of year it’s great with flat water that’s well protected. The sea breezes are predictable in June and July. In the spring it’s more about weather systems. It’s weird, one day in June it’s like somebody flicked a switch and summer’s here.

**5. Can the America’s Cup recover from its recent woes?
** Yes. I believe Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison are going to do what they say. The group at BMW-Oracle are being very careful to rebuild not just for the 34th Cup but for the future. Their actions convince me they’re absolutely committed. Larry Ellison says all he wants is, if he loses, to have a fair chance to win it back. I’m a skeptic by nature, but I’m convinced.

Whether it will succeed, I don’t know. It’s not going to be easy. The event, if not shattered, has been badly hurt, in the sponsors’ eyes especially.

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