AUCKLAND, New Zealand
Now that Alinghi has become the first European entry to win the America's Cup, founder Ernesto Bertarelli has vowed he'll take the Auld Mug to the top of the Matterhorn, the most famous peak in the Swiss Alps.
That's brave talk for a fellow who doesn't know much about climbing. In fact, Bertarelli has already fobbed the job off on Alinghi's in-house expert on mountaineering, but even the expert doesn't know if it actually can be done.
"He asked me and I said yes because when Ernesto asks me to do something I usually try to say yes," said Curtis Blewett, bowman on the Cup boat and the only crewman aboard who has seen the world from the top of the 4,478-meter mountain. "But I've never even picked up the Cup, so I don't know how heavy it is. It looks pretty heavy."
Cup rules require crewmen to hold residency in the country they represent, so when Blewett took the job with Alinghi he had to move to Switzerland. That opened a lot of climbing opportunities but the one he was keenest to seize on was the Matterhorn.