If the Swiss win the 'Auld mug' they may choose Cascais in Portugal for the defence

Ernesto Bertarelli, owner of the Swiss Alinghi sailing team, is considering defending it from the small Portuguese Atlantic port of Cascais, near Lisbon, the Australian newspaper reports The Australian newspaper.The biotechnology multi-billionaire has already stated that if he wins the America’s Cup, he will nominate a defence in Europe.

Since Switzerland is landlocked, Bertarelli has named Italy, Spain, Palma de Majorca, Portugal and the French Riviera as possible sites. Neutrality runs high on the Swiss political agenda and of those places, only Portugal could guarantee not to mount a challenge for an America’s Cup held by the Swiss. The Italians and the French are perennial challengers.

Patrick Monteiro de Barros is commodore of the Cascais Yacht Club, the Clube Naval de Cascais, near Lisbon. Yesterday he told The Australian that he and Bertarelli had discussed Cascais for a Swiss America’s Cup defence more than two years ago. Cascais, with reliable northwesterly trade winds from April to September, has hosted scores of world and European sailing championships over the past 60 years.