Luna Rossa recruit sailing legend Brad Butterworth for America's Cup

One of the most experienced and successful sailors in America's Cup history is back in the race - to a degree.

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Butterworth, who’s won the Auld Mug a record four times, won’t be anywhere near the boat though. Source: 1 NEWS

Brad Butterworth is helping Italian challenger Luna Rossa with ground work in Auckland while also liaising with the New Zealand Government and Auckland Council.

Butterworth told 1 NEWS he got involved after an SOS call from Italian syndicate’s boss in Switzerland.

“I think it's pretty bad when Patrizio Bertelli calls me to try and get hold of somebody in New Zealand to give him some help with what’s going on,” Butterworth said.

“I was pretty embarrassed.”

Butterworth said he eventually managed to contact someone from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment but it wasn’t easy.

“I think [Bertelli] has been trying very hard to sort things out but it’s been very difficult with the Government.”

Butterworth says the problem was once the recent investigations started into the running of the regatta, all communication stopped with Luna Rossa.

It’s left Butterworth forecasting more butting of heads in the boardrooms between Team New Zealand and the Italians in the coming months and he expects to be in amongst it.

“It's a little bit like a marriage,” Butterworth said.

“At the moment it's more like a divorce.”

Although, despite the disagreements and Covid-19 setbacks, Butterworth is confident the regatta will work out in the end.

“You put the boys in the water, the boats go racing and all the rubbish stops.”