First Point for Luna Rossa

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 took to the America’s Cup racecourse today for its first action of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series and came away with one point. With the wind blowing between 13 and 15 knots, helmsman Chris Draper guided the silver AC72 around the 12.07-nautical-mile course in 28 minutes, 58 seconds.

The Italian team chose to sail the five-leg course, shorter than the 16-mile courses that Emirates Team New Zealand sailed in its first two races on Sunday and Tuesday and the configuration intended for the Louis Vuitton Cup Final and the America’s Cup Final.

“Today was pretty light and puffy, but I’m sure we can do a better job,” said skipper Max Sirena.

Luna Rossa reached a top speed of 36.13 knots on the first leg of the course, which it sailed unopposed because its scheduled opponent, Artemis Racing, is still carrying out structural tests on its AC72.

Illustrating the complexity of the AC72, Sirena said a $1 fitting nearly prevented them from racing their multi-million dollar catamaran.

“We had a small issue with the daggerboard system on the right,” said Sirena. “A $1 piece could’ve compromised the race, but at the end we managed the breakdown. The little breakdown could’ve compromised a foiling jibe or even some tacks, but the goal was to finish the race and I’m pretty happy about that.”

The next chance at two boats on the racecourse comes on Saturday, when Emirates Team New Zealand is scheduled to race Luna Rossa Challenge in the first race of the second round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

“For sure it’s going to be exciting,” said Sirena.

Luna Rossa crew list: Skipper/pit: Max Sirena, Helmsman: Chris Draper, Tactician: Francesco Bruni, Wing Trimmer: Xabi Fernandez, Trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice, Bowman: Nick Hutton, Freestyle: Marco Montis, Grinders: Lele Marino, Giles Scott, Simone de Mari and David Carr. Full story

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