Mascalzone arrive in force

Italian no2 team in full swing in Auckland

Monday September 2nd 2002, Author: Laura Jelmini, Location: Australasia


By the beginning of August preparations and training have restarted in full speed for TIM Mascalzone Latino XII ITA-72 (above) and the team behind it in the waters of Auckland, New Zealand when October 1st the Louis Vuitton Cup takes off, the event that leads straight to the next America¹s Cup.

The team guided by the Neapolitan skipper Vincenzo Onorato is hard at work on the other side of the world, waiting together with other eight challengers the XXXI edition of the America¹s Cup: after a short interruption due to the transfer from the Island of Elba base in Portoferraio, in mid-July operations resumed on the Viaduct Basin compound in far-off New Zealand.

Director of the operations is the team manager Paolo Scutellaro with the assistance of the shore team manager Giorgio Passarella and the administration manager Pietro Manunta, all waiting for the arrival of Vincenzo Onorato on September 2nd who will take up the uncommon position of grinder (since he is known for his excellent skipper skills) and follow the training phase with the entire crew until the regattas begin.

Practice takes place every day with the new boat designed by Giovanni Ceccarelli and on the trail boat ITA 55 the yacht bought months ago from the syndicate One World (also used in the last edition of the America¹s Cup by Dennis Conner¹s syndicate ³Stars & Stripes²) in order to test the regatta course conditions in the Hauraki Gulf.

The team made up of about eighty members is practically complete: Paolo Cian the helmsman joined the rest of the crew at the beginning of August after taking part in the UBS Challenge, the 2 grade match race battled off in Newport, USA (event of the Swedish Match Tour circuit) where Cian and his partners Flavio Grassi and the other two athletes from the Fiamme Gialle: Antar Vigna and Pierluigi Fornelli brilliantly made it to the semifinals. By mid-August after his participation in the Coppa del Re ( in the Balearic Islands, Spain) Flavio Favini the tactician of the team also reached New Zealand.

Mascalzone Latino Team will be racing with the colors of its sole sponsor TIM, the only all-Italian mobile telephone company for this all-Italian challenge.

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