According to reliable information, high-level meetings have been held in Valencia between Iberdrola’s CEO and local authorities for the creation of Spanish challenger for the 34th America’s Cup.
It appears that last week, José Ignacio Sánchez Galán, CEO of Iberdrola, met with Rita Barberá, mayor of Valencia, and Francisco Camps, president of the Valencia region, in the Iberdrola base. If the head of the Spanish group, the world’s fourth largest utility, has a serious intention to back a Spanish syndicate it wouldn’t come as a surprise that he held talks with the city’s and region’s authorities. It would be absolutely logical for any serious Spanish effort to be based in Valencia.
However, what came as total surprise was the presence of Manuel Chirivella and Gerardo Pombo in those meetings! For anyone interested in the America’s Cup and living under a rock for the last 4 years, we remind that Chirivella and Pombo are, respectively, the former vice president and current president of the Spanish Sailing Federation and, most importantly, creators of the infamous Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV), the botched Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup.
If this information is confirmed, it’s beyond my understanding how Chirivella and Pombo are allowed to be even remotely involved with yet another Spanish America’s Cup campaign! I really hope they have learnt their lesson well and opt to represent a real yacht club. There are hundreds of them in Spain!