In Auckland in 2002, as a new team to the America's Cup there were many highlights along the way for Mascalzone Latino, including an exciting win over the French team and a tough, memorable battle with its Italian rivals.
Despite an early exit from the event, ONORATO was not too disappointed, having come into the Louis Vuitton Cup looking to gain experience for further challenges. 'It is useless to compete in just one America's Cup,' he said at the time when his team was eliminated. 'You have to try and try and try and learn and try again.'
'In the last America's Cup, we were competing to learn,' ONORATO explained on Wednesday in Naples, where the team was presented publicly for the first time. 'This time, we are serious. I like the feeling on this team. We are focussed and committed to fight to the end.'
The new team will be led on the water by skipper and tactician Vasco VASCOTTO, a newcomer to the America's Cup squad, who will rely on helmsman Flavio FAVINI to steer the boat. FAVINI was tactician in the last Mascalzone Latino campaign.
There are now three Italian challengers for the 32nd America's Cup, along with a pair of Louis Vuitton Acts scheduled in Italy at the end of the 2005 season, the Trapani Louis Vuitton Acts 8 & 9, beginning on the 29 September.
'Italy has a very proud history in the modern era of the America's Cup,' said Michel BONNEFOUS, the CEO of the America's Cup organizer. 'With the America's Cup in Europe for the first time, I'm happy that there is so much Italian support for the event. This kind of excitement in Europe is exactly what we wanted with the Cup coming to the continent. We now have a very strong Italian presence in this 32nd America's Cup, and I'm happy to welcome a third Italian team to the event.'
Team Capitalia's challenge on behalf of the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia was accepted by the Swiss Defender of the America's Cup, the Société Nautique de Genève, on the 9 March.
The team will begin training for the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 4 & 5 (on 16-26 June) from its base on the Island of Elba, before coming to Valencia later this spring for its first taste of racing in the 32nd America's Cup.