The new Italian


Nigel Cherrie talks to Andy Hemmings, the sole Brit on Prada's sailing team
Not even Patrizio Bertelli, the founder, financer and passionate Italian CEO of the Prada America's Cup syndicate could disagree that two years ago his team, while worthy Louis Vuitton Cup winners, were outsmarted and out-sailed in the America's Cup final. The Kiwi defence was a fraction faster and innovative in several departments, but even as the smoke was settling from the gun to mark Team New Zealand's 5-0 whitewash over Francesco de Angelis and his Luna Rossa crew, their 2003 Challenge was officially handed to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. For Mr Bertelli, this is unfinished business and next February he expects his team to deliver to the America's Cup to the Mediterranean shores of Italy. Amongst the cast of 60 on the Italian Challenge employed to win the America's Cup at all costs are two Poms, or newly resident Italians under the Cup protocol. Ian Howlett, who drew the lines for Great Britain's last three America's Cup entries in the 12 meter era, sits on the 22 member design board while Andy Hemmings, perhaps one of the most talented sail trimmers in the world, has been selected to join the 34 strong Prada Sailing Team. Hemmings has a sailing CV as long as Luna Rossa and is a master at the art of match race crewing, spending five season with Chris Law (they reached number two in the ISAF world rankings). So are Prada now the top seeds and the rest of the world the underdogs? Providing an insight into the Prada challenge, Andy Hemmings spoke to madfor sailing. madforsailing: Andy, thanks for taking time out from your busy sailing schedule. How does it feel to be part of such a Herculean "win at all costs" effort in your very first America's Cup campaign? Andy Hemmings: It has been a real eye opener actually. In

VISITORS