America’s Cup: Italians are ready to win

Published on October 7th, 2014

Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena believes the Italian syndicate can finally win the America’s Cup.

“For the first time I feel in a position to win the America’s Cup,” Sirena told a media conference at the just-completed Genoa Boat Show. “It would be the realisation of a dream – winning with the Italian flag.”

The syndicate, backed by Italian fashion giant Prada, has been in the America’s Cup game since 2000. They have won the challengers series but never the cup itself despite investing a fortune. But now they believe they are ready to capitalise on the gains they made from their information-sharing project with Team New Zealand at the last event.

With catamarans to be used in the actual America’s Cup racing set to be reduced from 72-foot to 62-foot versions, Sirena predicted big changes but little compromise in performance. “It will be a completely different boat from what you saw in San Francisco,” he said. “It will be like a spaceship.”

While Italy had some initial reservations about using giant foiling catamarans because of safety concerns, Sirena made it clear there was no point in returning to monohulls. The future, he said, was with multihulls. “I personally would not go back to monohulls,” he said. “It would be like going to ask a MotoGP pilot to leave 4-stroke engines to return to the old 2-stroke.”

Luna Rossa has taken on the role of Challenger of Record after Team Australia quit, but is keen to adopt a committee approach and wants the America’s Cup venue sorted out by the end of the month. San Diego and Bermuda are vying for the right to host the cup finals in 2017 and Sirena said it was important to get the decision as soon as possible to allow teams to push on with their design work.

Sirena also indicated a late entry – likely from Asia – would boost the challenger numbers to seven.

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