Published: December 11, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia: Leading American sailor Paul Cayard has joined the Spanish America’s Cup team as a technical adviser, the team said in a statement Tuesday.

Cayard, a winner of seven world championships and of the Volvo Ocean Race, has sailed in five America’s Cups, winning the 160-year-old trophy in 1992 as skipper of the Italian entry Il Moro di Venezia.

Agustin Zulueta, sporting and technical director for Spain’s Desafio Espanol 2007, said the team had signed an agreement with Cayard and with the Cayard Sailing Company to use his technical expertise as it prepared for the America’s Cup regatta off Valencia in mid-2007.

“We are trying to raise the level of our crew. We want to use the best Cayard can give us and we fully trust the crew we now have,” Zulueta said.

Reports from Valencia said Cayard would be involved with the Spanish team for a period of two months, providing technical advice and helming its second boat in trial races with its Cup entry ESP-97. The possibility of an extended contract would be discussed at the end of that period.

Cayard last sailed in the America’s Cup for the AmericaOne syndicate in New Zealand in 2000. He was to sail for the San Francisco-based Oracle team at the 2003 Cup but was sidelined after a dispute with syndicate owner Larry Ellison.