'It's the final action after winning the America's Cup, engraving the result on the trophy,' explained Ernesto BERTARELLI (SUI), the President of Team Alinghi. 'It makes me very proud, because I know that for the generation of sailors that follow, the name of Alinghi will always be on the America's Cup. It has a profound meaning to me. We're clearly turning the page now with all of the team in Valencia, it's the start of the new season, everyone is together...we're going for it.'
'Engraving the last line on the Cup draws a line across the previous event. Now we're really focused on Defending,' agreed Grant SIMMER (AUS), Managing Director and Coordinator of the Design Team.
The engraving took place at the Ayuntamiento, the town hall, where Team Alinghi was officially welcomed into town by Rita BARBERÁ, the Mayoress of Valencia, and Francisco CAMPS, President of the Valencia region as reported yesterday.
Some members of Team Alinghi have been in Valencia since the end of the Louis Vuitton Acts last year, but the full team arrived just last month, and began testing and training with two boats at the end of March.
For SIMMER, these weeks before racing begins in June are important not just for testing and training, but also for the entire squad to gel as a team.
'Essentially we have a new team. There are lots of new people, along with a good mix of the team from the last Cup too,' he explained.
The engraving of the America's Cup today was also important to SIMMER as it serves as a reminder of what the team was able to achieve in the last campaign: 'People who have won the America's Cup before are not scared of losing. That's really important. When the boat goes out at the start of the first race of the America's Cup Match in two years, the people on board have to be ready; they want to win, and they're not afraid of losing. When you've won it before, you have that mind-set.'
Team Alinghi followed up the engraving ceremony with an impressive display of seamanship, sailing both SUI 64 and SUI 75 away from the dock in the tight confines of the Darsena Interior, en route to a training session in the race area off Valencia.
Team Alinghi, along with the challengers BMW ORACLE Racing, +39 Challenge, Luna Rossa, K-Challenge, and Desafío Español have all been training off the coast of Valencia this month, whilst Team Shosholoza and Emirates Team New Zealand work in the southern hemisphere. Team Capitalia is starting it's sailing programme off the Italian island of Elba and Victory Challenge is finalizing the recruitment of it's sailing team ahead of the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 4 & 5, which begin on 16 June.