Louis Vuitton Cup Skipper’s Press Conference
Monday, 21st October 2002
Ken Read — Stars & Stripes
Ian Walker — GBR Challenge
Luc Pillot — Le Défi AREVA
Russell Coutts — Alinghi Challenge
Francesco de Angelis — Prada Challenge
Paolo Cian — Mascalzone Latino
Magnus Holmberg — Victory Challenge
Peter Gilmour — OneWorld Challenge
Peter Holmberg — Oracle BMW Racing
**Q Ken you sailed both of your boats over the past week, which one will you use in Round Robin Two? **
Were going to stick with USA-66 in this round. The weather has been OK, but not quite cooperative during this short period of time off. So we still have some work to do on USA-77 to make sure that were 100% comfortable with it. But everything weve seen tells us its in good shape. But we cant take any chances right now so well stay with USA-66.
**Q Ian, will you make any changes to the afterguard? **
Ian I think for the first race well be sailing similar to how we ended the last Round Robin. But things change pretty fast from day to day. Weve got a squad of 23 sailors who sailed on the boat in the first Round Robin and its pretty important to us that everyone gets to sail on the boat. Everyone has put a lot of work in and Im happy sailing with any 16 guys on our team.
**Q Will Peter Harrison be on board every day? **
Ian I think Peter has some guests down in the next Round Robin but he loves coming out with us, he loves being on the back of the boat in the thick of the action and hes enjoying himself and Im sure youll see him out here on most of the days.
**Q Luc, are there any big changes to your boat? Why are you hiding the transom? **
Luc To have something to talk about this morning!! No we tried something, but the weather wasnt too good this week so we havent been able to try it enough so we wont be using it now. We will do a few changes, so we look forward to the next round. Well have the same team on board, but weve changed some of the communication processes. Sebastian Destremeau will be the tactician, and Luc Gellessau will be strategist.
**Q Russell, how valuable is the time between rounds? **
Russell Judging by the comments of the others here it is a very important time to progress the boats and were seeing a lot of changes to the boats before this Round Robin and it will be interesting to see how the performances change with those teams. We made one or two changes that weve been planning for quite a while so the time between wasnt that critical for us in terms of testing. The other change were making in terms of crew is Murray Jones should be fit by halfway through the Round, and it will be great to have him on board.
**Q Francesco, we were amazed to see how you were able to change the bow on your boat in such a short time, were you working on it yourself? **
Francesco No¿that would have taken much longer!! Like all the team, I was involved, but Id like to take this opportunity to thank all the people involved in working on it. They did an amazing job in a very short time. Changes have been made and were looking forward to seeing how those changes work. There was a group of people working shifts over 24 hours to do this.
**Q Paolo, what is your feeling about tomorrows clash with Prada? **
Paolo Of course were curious to see the difference in their boat now. Theyve done a lot of work in a short time and well be interested to see what its like to sail against them now.
**Q Magnus will you be using Orm instead of Örn? Can you tell us about your crew member who was injured a few days ago? **
Magnus – Yes. We believe its a faster boat. We have pretty good confidence in it. There are some quite big differences in the boats.
Our crew member Martin had a bad accident, he fell backwards into the hatch on the foredeck and fell two-metres down landing on his back. But hes pretty tough so we think hell be OK for Thursday, our first day of racing.
**Q Peter Gilmour, how can you keep your momentum through the second round? **
Peter The challenge for OneWorld is to go out there and keep the momentum going. Its a very complex issue racing these boats out there. Conditions change and sometimes we expect to race and dont race. I must say I think the Race Committee did a fabulous job of managing the races to just be left with one stand over race. In this round theres certainly a lot more pressure on us because the period between this and the next break is very tight and there is no left over period. I look forward to some very close match-ups and maybe some two-race days at some point in time.
**Q Peter Holmberg, did you make any major changes to your boats? **
Weve made some changes yes, not major. Well be using USA-76 again and the changes were all planned in advance. We used the break as we wanted to and got some good sailing in. Larry Ellison is back in town and looking forward to sailing.
**Q Peter, can you talk about the start against OneWorld? **
I think it was a bit dangerous. So I dont think it should be done too often. I didnt really have time to think about it we just reacted and luckily my instincts were correct.
**Q Magnus, can you tell us about Jesper Bank? **
Magnus We dont start racing until Thursday, so the crew selection is still to come. So I dont have any information at this moment. Mats Johansson and Skip Lissiman are making the crew selection.
**Q Luc, what has happened to Philippe Presti and will he be on board soon? **
Luc Of course Philippe is still on the team. He is helping us to improve the teamwork and many other things but he will not be on board next round.
**Q Francesco, can you explain what was done to the boat? **
Francesco We did some work in many different areas. I dont believe that one change can change everything. We did work that we thought was appropriate after the first round. Obviously its more visible what has been done to the bow and the hull, but thats not all that we did. We did some work to the rig and the sails as well, and well have one round to assess everything. Its not easy to assess because the other boats have made changes as well, so its hard to fix your performance in a field that doesnt stay the same.
**Q Paolo, do you think it is fair to sail against a modified boat? **
Paolo To have two boats is not easy. There are a lot of jobs to be done. To decide to make changes is difficult, and to decide not to change can also be difficult. But sometimes changing many things is a risk. You have to be comfortable with your risks and your style and we just have to sail the boat as fast as we can.
**Q Can all the skippers say how many days they sailed this past week? **
Ken — 5
Ian — 2
Luc — 3
Russell — 2
Francesco — 2
Paolo — 2
Magnus — 3
Peter Gilmour — 3
Peter Holmberg— 4, I think
**Q Paolo, how do you feel about the risk of being eliminated at the end of this round? **
Paolo Of course, being the first to be eliminated isnt a dream. Someone has to go out at the end of this round and it will be a tough a race with the French team. Italy versus France is in the six nations rugby and it one of the best matches you can see, and I think it will be like this.
**Q Luc, how do you feel about the risk of being eliminated at the end of this round? **
Luc I think there are not only two teams that might be last in eight days. It may be Mascalzone, it may be us, or it might be someone else. We dont want to think about being eighth or ninth, but we want to sail as well as we can and well see what will happen. Of course, we dont want to go home too early.
**Q Ken, is USA-77 strong enough now? Are you unsure about reliability or speed? **
Ken To be honest, more the latter. Conditions here arent ideal for testing very often. We had one amazing day right after the last round was over. As far as the strength is concerned, we have no problems with that. Often what happens when you race boats is every person tweaks out their area one-hundred percent to exactly the way they like it. A lot of it is just the familiarity with the guys on one boat versus the other. Strength isnt a concern. Its just really feeling comfortable with every aspect of the boat and we just werent there yet.
**Q Peter Gilmour, would it concern you not to be able to repeat the first round performance? **
Peter Of course it would be a worry. We all plan, in every race, to go out and do our very best. We tackle each race with that ambition. I think that being said, the law of averages works against you in being able to maintain a winning streak or a losing streak for that matter. In this game anything can happen and were cognisant of that and well be working on a day by day basis to keep it going. We have no false illusions of where we stand next to the other boats. Were a well prepared campaign and I think that showed. Were working to try and improve and its a matter of getting out there and taking each day as it comes. It will be interesting to get out there and see how each day unfolds. Big picture, were not that concerned about the image of what is projected, but on a day by day basis we are concerned and working very hard.
**Q Francesco, what confidence do you have in the changes to your boat? **
Francesco This is something were going to find out about starting tomorrow. We have feelings and impressions, but the final test comes with the races. When you race you have to focus on a lot of different things and we have to learn the boat and the changes and adjust our techniques. This can only come through racing.
**Q Russell, are you planning to use just one boat, or will we see the second Alinghi boat at some point? **
Russell Were not sure yet. Were going to use SUI-64 in the next round and well see how the development programme goes in the future.