Why is there the profile of K2, the second highest mountain in the Earth, in our logo? Simple. In 1954, we supplied the ropes to the Italian expedition that conquered the summit ”.
Luigi Maffioli, head of Gottifredi Maffioli, is keen to explain the reason why the mountain is pictured in the logo of whats has always been the official supplier of the Luna Rossa team. “Our collaboration started in Auckland in 2000, when we revolutionized the America’s Cup with the introduction With the introducion of our PBO fiber cover for sheets and runners”.
Established in 1926, Gottifredi Maffioli continues to support Luna Rossa even if things have considerably changes since 2000. “We supply complete rigging equipment – explains Luigi Maffioli – In addition to rope reels for sheets and halyards, our products include all the textile equipment required for the installation of many on-board hydraulically-operated devices. Flexibility and resistance are the main aspects which our production is focused on”.
Today, mechanic tools have been completely replaced by hydraulic ones and textile connectors have taken a very important role thanks to a very special material. “ Since 2013 America’s Cup, Dyneema SK99 has been the master. It’s an extraordinarily ductile, flexible and high-resistance material, therefore suitable for dynamic applications. Moreover, from this year, the Dyneema SK99 has also an important ecological implication as it is made from bio-based raw materials, without compromising its mechanical qualities”.
With some elements that, requiring special machinery, are made directly in-house by Gottifredi Maffioli, the bulk of the work is however by the Luna Rossa shore team which, once the procedure has been defined, produces what is necessary. “A bit for logistical reasons” explains Mr. Maffioli “but above all because, when dealing with tie rods for point-to-point loads, even a difference of a few millimeters can make you go out of the desired adjustment range. Moreover, there is the need to follow the evolution of the boat and therefore the possibility of creating custom pieces is essential”.
And these pieces can reach surgical dimensions. “The material we are supplying to Luna Rossa has a diameter between 2 and 13 millimeters. A13 mm sheet has a loading capacity of up to 12.5 tons”. However, PBO is still used, especially for winch rigging. “ More than an evolution – Luigi Maffioli explains – there has been an optimization of single products. Especially on AC75 yachts, rigging has taken up an important role than the two previous editions of America’s Cup, where lengths and diameters were rather limited. And this will certainly have positive effects in the world of racing and superyachts”.