Cayard: “Desafío Español will fight for the Cup”


This morning in Valencia Agustin Zulueta, General Director of Desafío Español, presented Paul Cayard as the team’s Sports Director.

In the last edition of the America’s Cup, Cayard worked with the team as Technical & Sports Advisor, overseeing the preparation and set up of ESP 97 during the weeks leading up the Louis Vuitton Cup in April 2007.

“In February and March, I experienced what it was like to work with Desafío Español. That experience made today’s agreement possible,” stated Cayard. He added; “The 33rd America’s Cup will be very different from the previous Cup. It will be more like the Cup in 1992 when we started to first use the America’s Cup Class boats.”

As Sports Director of Desafío Español, Paul Cayard indicated that he is aware of the “short time remaining until the start in 2009.” “You need money and resources to succeed. Fortunately, Desafío Español benefits from both. The team will fight for the Cup,” stated Cayard.

Cayard has led many campaigns, so his experience will be a fundamental asset to the Spanish syndicate. “I am well aware that this is a Spanish team. I will endeavour to learn Spanish and more about the Spanish culture. I did this with the Italian syndicate Il Moro di Venezia. I realize that it is key to create unity in the team, which is fundamental to win.”

Agustín Zulueta, General Director of Desafío Español, said that he had thought to introduce the entire crew at the beginning of October, but that he didn’t wanted to do so without introducing their leader first. “In the last edition, the Spanish team started a relationship with Paul Cayard with the idea of continuity. We want to create a team with an identity, the best Spanish team,” said Zulueta.

“We now have a motivated team, a crew which is excited to have a great leader such as Paul. He is one of the few people with in-depth experience in this game. Paul also knows what it is to live in Spain, having lived in Palma in 1990 to prepare the campaign of Il Moro di Venezia for the 1992 America’s Cup,” Zulueta added.

When asked about who will be at the helm of the Spanish boat, Zulueta said that it is very possible that Cayard will be, but another possibility is Laureano Wizner. “We won’t discard the possibility of signing another helmsman with a match racing background, one who could contribute his experience to the team,” said Zulueta.

Cayard added that it is important to have a helmsman able to feel the boat and understand the technical side of things. “It is important to have a helmsman who can convey their sensations to the technical team, in order to develop the best possible boat. To be at the helm is the best way to feel the speed and acceleration, and this information is critical,” stated Cayard.

“This America’s Cup will not be a classic match race, and the talent you need to develop a boat does not have to be the same as the one you need for pure match racing,” Cayard concluded.