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Louis Vuitton Cup: Luna Rossa learns from first encounter    
Sun, 14 Jul 2013

Saturday July 13th, San Francisco (USA): Sunny skies, 16-18 knots south-westerly breeze and choppy wave.

Today Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 faced Emirates Team New Zealand for the first time in her third scheduled race of the Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robin.

At 12.10 the Race Committee displayed the warning signal. Luna Rossa Challenge entered from the left side on port tack, while Emirates Team New Zealand entered from the right side on starboard tack.

Emirates Team New Zealand won the prestart battle by closing Luna Rossa’s path and crossing the starting line a full boat length in front.

At the reach mark the two boats had a 5 second separation but the number of jibes required on the first downwind leg, combined with the greater speed of the kiwi team, did not allow Luna Rossa much opportunity to close the gap as she rounded the downwind gate with a 30 seconds delay.

On the first windward leg Luna Rossa was forced to chase the kiwi boat, at greater ease thanks to the favorable combination of better speed and pointing. An additional negative wind shift prevented further gains and Emirates Team New Zealand increased its lead on the Italian team when rounding the windward gate with a 2 minutes lead.

At the second downwind gate Luna Rossa rounded the mark with a 2 minute and 45 seconds delay, also due to a penalty for sailing outside the boundary. On the second windward leg, Luna Rossa chose the left side of the course in an attempt to close the gap, but Emirates Team New Zealand was already too far forward. Luna Rossa crossed the finish line 5 minutes and 23 seconds behind Emirates team New Zealand and, as per the Racing Rules, was considered DNF.

Luna Rossa Challenge skipper Max Sirena declared: 'I am obviously not happy with this result, but the positive aspect is that a significant part of our gap can be attributed to factors that we can easily improve such as maneuvers and boat handling. We certainly have to also improve the performance of the boat, especially upwind, but also for this we have a series of new technical developments that will soon be ready. We have always said that the Round Robins are a necessary phase in our learning and technical development process, all of which are necessary to be competitive in the Semi Finals.'

Luna Rossa Challenge will return on the race course Tuesday July 16th for the match against Artemis Racing who will not, however, be ready to compete.

Today’s crew for Luna Rossa Challenge was: Max Sirena (skipper and pitman), Francesco Bruni (tactician), David Carr (pitman/grinder), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Simone de Mari (primary grinder), Cris Draper (helmsman), Xabi Fernandez (wing trimmer), Nick Hutton (bowman), Lele Marino (wing grinder), Marco Montis (freestyler) and Giles Scott (hydraulic grinder).

by Luna Rossa Media

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