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America's Cup: Italians make good start to regatta but hit by a foil-fall in second race.

by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Challenge 17 Sep 2023 21:07 NZST 17 September 2023
Luna Rossa Prasa Pirelli - Race Day 2 - AC40 - America's Cup Preliminary Regatta - Vilanova - September 16, 2023 © Carlo Borlenghi

In light and unstable winds only two races sailed today. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli placed second in Race 1

In its attempt to make up for yesterday's races, canceled for adverse weather conditions, the Race Committee had decided to run four races instead of the three originally scheduled; but the weather, once again, did not cooperate: once the front passed, today was characterized by sunshine and a very weak southerly wind that forced the AC40s to race almost always in displacement mode, putting an end to the show of "flying" boats and a stop to the last two races of the day. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli closed race 1 in second place.

In the public Village the Italian team received a very warm welcome: numerous fans from all over Italy and not only traveled to Vilanova i la Geltrù to support them, happy to be able to see the sailors up close and have a chat with them, receive signed souvenir postcards and take coveted selfies with the team.

Race 1:

The start was on time at 15.05 with 7/8 knots of wind, enough for the boats to travel on the foils at about 20 knots; the race took a surreal turn after the first windward gate, when the breeze dropped suddenly and completely, forcing the AC40s to sail the downwind leg in displacement mode and with huge crew effort. Luna Rossa showed extraordinary determination in bringing the boat to the finish line (in the meantime the Committee had shortened the course to just 2 legs), that it would cross second only due to a penalty received a few meters from the finish. After crossing the line, Luna Rossa were informed that they hadn’t started correctly and were scored a DNS. Following a review of the starting protocols undertaken on course, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli have been re-instated in second place in Race 1, scoring 7 points.

Winner: Orient Express Racing Team (FRA)

"We are happy with the Jury's decision. Tomorrow is the last day of the event and we will be back on the water ready to go out and win races" said Max Sirena, Skipper and Team Director of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.


The second race, which started at 17.15, also took place in a very weak and uncertain breeze on the race course, a condition which forced Luna Rossa to sail in displacement mode already before the start; in this situation the delay accumulated was such that, given the conditions on the course, the team was unable to recover. The race, again shortened by the Committee, was won by Defender ETNZ.

Winner: Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

"Clearly today the conditions weren’t ideal to race on these boats, which are fun when you fly on the foils», said Francesco Bruni, one of the helmsmen on Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. «For sure there are 'tricks' to handle the boat even in these extreme conditions, that we have to learn and put into practice, like the Kiwis who have been training on AC40s for two years now. But these are races too, with a winner and a loser. Hopefully we will do better tomorrow. This is not the America's Cup yet: we are here to improve and make the best of any learning experience."

Crew list - Luna Rossa

Jimmy Spithill (helmsman), Francesco Bruni (helmsman), Umberto Molineris (trimmer) and Andrea Tesei (trimmer).

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