As founder, owner, and crewmember of the first Cup boats from Switzerland, all named Alinghi, Bertarelli won the America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand in 2003, and defended it successfully in Valencia, Spain in 2007. In 2010 at Valencia, in the first Cup match between two multihulls, Alinghi’s winning streak came to end.
Bertarelli sailed aboard his Cup yachts continuing the Cup tradition of owner-sailors that have included Harold Vanderbilt, T.O.M. Sopwith, and Ted Turner. Bertarelli competed in all the races in the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd America’s Cup matches in several roles, including navigator, afterguard member, backstay trimmer, and, in 2010, as helmsman.
Bertarelli’s vision for the America’s Cup clearly broke boundaries. The first Cup winner from continental Europe, he took the Cup back to Europe and produced the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia, which was among the most successful events in the competition’s post-war history. That event hosted more challengers than any other, Fremantle excepted.
Bertarelli also organized the first Acts (now called the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series), a series of regattas for the challengers and the defender which toured venues in Europe.
The 33rd Match in 2010, beset by legal challenges, was eventually decided on the water by gigantic multihulls, the fastest Cup yachts ever built up to that time, with the Alinghi team losing the Cup to BMW Oracle Racing.
Alongside his achievements in other highly competitive circuits, Ernesto Bertarelli shows a depth of ability to build talented teams and a remarkable determination to win. He has created a new winning tradition in Swiss sailing and has both inspired and invested in the next generation of his nation’s sailors.