A few days before the start of the 2nd Desafío Trophy, Desafío’s shore crew are putting night shifts in order to have the team’s two America’s Cup yachts ready for racing. According to their press release, the newest green boat, ESP-97, will be used by the Spanish challenger, while the older one, ESP-88, will be chartered by Team Origin. ESP-88 should be launched by Monday and on Wednesday Team Origin will carry out their first test sail on Valencia’s waters.
Unfortunately, it was already dark to take any decent shots of the Luna Rossa and Alinghi bases, both closed and with most lights turned off. Most probably, SUI-100 is tucked up in the warm inside the Alinghi base but it must come out soon since the Swiss defender will race it next week.
As for the Italian boat, we have heard they will be sailing ITA-94 but there was no visible activity and the shed’s door was closed. Still, according to the Italian website Sailing Revolution, Luna Rossa’s crew will consist of Robert Scheidt, Flavio Favini, Peter Holmberg, Nacho Postigo, Ciccio Celon, Manuel Modena, Daniele Bresciano, Marco Montis, Paolo Bassani, Giovanni Cassinari and Lele Marino.
Last but certainly not least, a personal comment. While I was shooting the photos from outside Desafío’s boatshed, the usual schmuck from the team’s shore crew saw the flash and got out of the base, yelling and threatening they would call the police because it was illegal taking pictures. The America’s Cup (or at least activity related to it) is in Valencia for almost 5 years now and there is still this idiotic mentality that team bases are some sort of secret nuclear missile silo. I hope that the next time Competitors meet in Geneva, Agustín Zulueta, Desafío’s general manager, doesn’t suggest teams installed a 20,000-volt wire around the bases so that any evil tourist or journalist that dares to come close gets electrocuted on the spot.
The Desafío base, on Friday early evening. ESP-88, left, is masted and apparently ready to be launched, while ESP-97 is still in the shed. Valencia, 31 October 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing