#ACWSNaples: Bruni, Slingsby shine as rookie helm

Published on April 21st, 2013

Naples, Italy (April 21, 2013) – Led by helmsman Francesco Bruni, Luna Rossa Swordfish today won the overall championship of the America’s Cup World Series Naples.

Bruni posted a thrilling win in the fleet racing finale, coming from behind on the final run in a race that saw the lead change hands three times.

The win was cathartic for the emotional Italian helmsman. Earlier in the day Luna Rossa Swordfish lost the match racing championship to Oracle Team USA Slingsby. Bruni was critical of his performance in the loss after leading the match early on.

“This win was the only way to forget our mistake in the match racing,” said Bruni, who will be the tactician aboard Luna Rossa Challenge’s AC72 in the upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Series (July 4-Aug. 30).

“The fleet race win really means a lot to me. We had an opportunity for the double win, but just missed out. I can’t thank my crew enough, Paul Campbell-James, Max Sirena, Xabi Fernandez and Manuel Modena. They did a great job today.”

Slingsby delivered on his stated goal: to secure the overall 2012-2013 America’s Cup World Series season championship for Oracle Team USA, the defense team in the upcoming 34th America’s Cup (Sept. 7-21). He wrapped up that championship yesterday and today added the match racing title as well.

“I’m really proud to be getting the America’s Cup World Series trophy for Oracle Team USA,” said Slingsby. Oracle Team USA also won last year’s championship. “Jimmy Spithill and his team set it up for us. We just had to come here, do our best and luckily he gave us enough of a lead to take home the trophy.”

The second America’s Cup World Series in Naples surpassed last year’s event in terms of spectators. Local event officials estimate that more than 1 million people have turned out along the Naples waterfront and in the Race Village to enjoy the week-long event. – Read on

Editor’s note: Notable that neither Bruni nor Slingsby are expected to be at the helm this summer on the AC72, with Bruni slated as tactician, while Slingsby’s role is less clear. He is listed as tactician, possibly filling that role on the ‘B’ boat with Ben Ainslie on the helm.

Replay: If you missed watching the broadcast, which had commentators Todd Harris (anchor) with Gary Jobson and Ken Read, the four shows are archived on the Scuttlebutt website for replay (subject to territorial rights agreements).

Photos: Courtesy of Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa.

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