Friday, 4 May 2007

Onorato happy to be buying the ice creams

Vincenzo Onorato called a press conference at the Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team base this morning. It was a typically flamboyant affair, with the charismatic Onorato in flamboyant and upbeat mood. And so he should be, after getting off the hook with another 10,000 Euro fine (remember the one from a couple of days ago for the paint job).

Mascalzone Latino have been fortunate to find Bryan Willis and his jury in generous mood. This could so easily have been a disqualification for the Italians, which would have snuffed out any realistic hope of reaching the Semi Finals.

The Italians held their hands up to moving the top-mast backstays during the race. Indeed they admitted they had missed the rule change from two years ago which forbids such moving of the stays during racing. So for the past two years, the Rascals have unwittingly been moving the backstays around without realising that they were infringing the rule.

When British journo Bob Fisher asked Onorato why the team seemed to be getting away with financial penalties rather than competition penalties, the Mascalzone boss replied: “I don’t know, Bob, maybe it’s pocket money for ice cream. I don’t know the answer to that.” Not quite the answer that Bob was looking for, but it kept the press conference amused.

Onorato commented: “We made a mistake, but the jury came out with a decision saying that what we did had no effect on the result of the race. I am quite happy with the decision of the jury, because they have made it from a sporting point of view. One win for the Spanish, one win for us, now it’s time for a rematch.

“The rematch will say without any doubt who is the best on the water. So this is wonderful, something I like very much.” Mascalzone Latino are certainly living up to their name. The cheeky chappies are among the most popular teams in Valencia, but there is a feeling they have got off lightly again.