Alinghi defended the America's Cup today, scoring a 1-second victory over Team New Zealand and returning the most prestigious title in international sailing to landlocked Switzerland. The series, contested off Valencia, Spain, was the closest since 1983—the widest margin in Alinghi's 5-2 victory in the nine-race series was 35 seconds—despite the huge disparity in the teams' resources.
Billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli staked Alinghi to a budget twice the size of the Kiwis' and assembled an international crew that included Australians, Americans, and Spaniards. "I just love this team," he crowed as he hoisted the 156-year-old silver trophy. Alinghi now makes the rules for its second defense, which may come as soon as 2009.