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Training and preparation for America’s Cup.

Interview with Jacopo Plazzi Marzotto - Part 2

How do you prepare for America’s Cup? How long does training take? Please tell us about the technical, physical, emotional, and psychological levels: there are long periods away from home. Tell us more.

Let’s start from the bottom – basically, you won’t be at home anymore. Home becomes the place where you work, first Cagliari then Auckland, and yes, that is a lot to give up. It’s what everyone has to be ready for. People who work in the cup either move their family, or agree to see them less. So, certainly from the emotional and psychological point of view, this impact must be considered before jumping into such a project.

America’s Cup is a very long and certainly unique project because it lasts 4 years – which immediately become three because before you can even start to sail, one year has already passed, at least for us sailors or in any case for the members of the sailing team. For designers, on the other hand, the project starts from day one and it is a very special project because for almost 3 years you train, develop, and never compete.

Compared to an Olympic campaign, during which you compete continuously and therefore have ongoing reality checks, America’s Cup is a project where you spend time in the darkness, except for some ‘espionage’ to understand the work of the other teams, and where you are at in relation to your competitors. The reality is that until you compare yourself to others, you don’t know.

In this particular case, the first opportunity was just before the regattas, because due to Covid, we were unable to meet the crews before America’s Cup. On a technical level, there’s continuous development that does not stop even during the regattas, it is really is something unique!

That’s because on other boats, you reach a certain technical level and with that you face the regatta, trying to perform with what you have, but in America’s Cup you can’t! You have to keep improving even while you compete so there is a lot of work.

On a physical level, it is better to ask the grinders, it is certainly very demanding. Preparation is similar to physical sports – it must start way in advance and look both at optimizing physical performance, and at preserving the sailors so that they do not get hurt during the course of the campaign. This could jeopardize the outings at sea, hours in the water that are essential to obtain the best possible performance.

Do you think you made a dream come true? America’s Cup manages to unite everyone! Each of us becomes passionate about sailing thanks to these wonderful regattas! Media attention certainly skyrockets.

The dream is to have competed in America’s Cup because as a child I started sailing thanks to America’s Cup: the moment where you reach something that inspired you so much is a dream in itself. Having said that, I think the real achievement is to win America’s Cup and bring it to Italy, since it has never been done. So I hope I can do it!

It is true that America’s Cup incredibly brings everyone together! The number of people who wake up at night to see the regattas is huge: I thank the people who wrote to us, who supported us, who really followed the competition with their hearts. Now we have to wait and see how it will evolve in the future: many times the cup changes completely between one edition and the next, so we hope this time there will be some continuity.

I would like to add something important to me.

Throughout the training period, both with Umberto in 49er and with Andrea, also in the 49er and with the Monegasque crew of Malizia in the GC32 circuit, we stayed and trained at Residence Centro Vela several times: it was always our base on Lake Garda.

Whenever we had to come for training, as we have done so many times, or simply to spend a week or longer, Residence Centro Vela was always the perfect place: both logistically and because you guys are there, and always make us feel welcome.

As I said before, many times you are away from your family, and having friends or a little piece of family away from home, always helps! Thanks so much for your support. I am sure that many new sailing champions will continue to train and grow here.

Would you like to know more? Read the first part of the interview with Jacopo Plazzi Marzotto or these other articles dedicated to sailing champions!


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