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America’s Cup: Emirates shows and Luna Rossa hits the water

Last week was marked by two major events for the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup. On Friday 12 April, Emirates Team New Zealand showed (ashore) its new AC75. The next day, Saturday 13th April, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli launched (first of the six competing teams) the boat with which Patrizio Bertelli will storm the Auld Mugh for the sixth time. Together with the unveiling of Alinghi Red Bull Racing half of the protagonists of the first regatta, the Preliminaries of 22 August, have thus cast their cards. (Here all our posts on the America’s Cup)

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Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC75 exits the base at Wynyard Point in Aukland. Photo © Emirates Team New Zealand

10 months of work for the AC 75 Kiwi

The construction of the new, and third, AC75 after the two built for the past 2021 edition in Auckland, took 10 months and took place at the team’s North Shore facility. Then, as a matter of course wrapped in a protective covering that hid its form, the AC75 was transported to the base at Wynyard Point and finally, on Friday 12 April, it was brought out of the shed and shown in full, including training foils. “It’s always a pretty significant moment for any team. The first time their race boat comes out of the shed and sees the light of day,” said Kevin Shoebridge, COO of Emirates Team New Zealand. The new AC75, which is scheduled to be christened during this week, is the result of the work of the design team led by Dan Bernasconi, which has 36 engineers.

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The exit from the shed of Emirates Team New Zealand’s new AC75. Photo © Emirates Team New Zealand.

And here is the shining Luna Rossa for the upcoming America’s Cup

Punta Ala 1999 – Cagliari 2025. Twenty-five years after the launch of ITA45, the first hull to carry the Luna Rossa name and attempt the America’s Cup assault, here is the tenth hull and the new AC75 that Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli launched on Saturday 13th April at its base in Cagliari. All the protagonists of the Italian challenge were present, starting with Patrizio Bertelli, team president and on his sixth America’s Cup adventure. Next to him his wife Miuccia Prada, who has always been Luna Rossa’s patroness. And then Marco Tronchetti Provera, vice-president of the team and co-sponsor of the challenge, Max Sirena, skipper and team director, and Agostino Randazzo, president of the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who is giving his guidon to Luna Rossa. They all stood next to Monsignor Giuseppe Baturi, Archbishop of Cagliari, who blessed the boat. Then Miuccia Prada, christened the boat by breaking the Cantine Ferrari bottle on the bowsprit of the boat.

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Miuccia Prada ‘christens’ the new Luna Rossa.

Metal K for Luna Rossa

There was much discussion on the eve of the race as to what the livery of the new Luna Rossa would be. And the choice was to recall the colouring of the boat from the 2000 challenge, of Luna Rossa’s debutant and finalist against Emirates Team New Zealand. So, as soon as Miuccia Prada broke the bottle and the black tarpaulin covering the boat came down, the new AC75 showed itself in all the brilliance of its Metal K metallic livery. A colour scheme that, it was emphasised, is a kind of declaration of intent and sums up the design and materials research work carried out over two years on the LEQ12 prototype. A very sharp and decidedly deep prow, wide shapes at arm height with the hull becoming almost flat towards the stern and a long keel running the length of the hull, the main (and visible) features. The bow sections, in anticipation of a difficult and wavey race course, have a certain volume, perhaps less than that seen on the New Zealand AC75 and certainly less than that seen on Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s BoatOne.

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The new AC75 Luna Rossa seen from below makes one appreciate the development of the hull lines.

An aerodynamic deck

The search for minimum resistance and maximum performance of the mainsail running flush with the deck led to an extremely clean design of the deck of the new Luna Rossa. No elements interrupt a perfectly smooth surface and four cockpits per side for the eight crew members. On board, on each side starting from the stern, and having a cockpit from which to control the boat, the helmsman and then the trimmer (the only ones to emerge with their helmets from the deck). In front of them in two equally deep but smaller cockpits (they do not need to see out) are the cyclors, which during the race will have to supply all the power needed to power the manoeuvring hydraulics.

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The deck of the new AC75 Luna Rossa.

Bertelli’s objective for the America’s Cup

“What is taking tothe water today ,” declared Patrizio Bertelli, President of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, “is the tenth America’s Cup hull that we are christening with the name Luna Rossa, a name that has marked important milestones in my life and that has established itself as an icon of sailing in the world. It is a beautiful and radical boat that marks a step forward in terms of design and technology, the result of an incredible collective effort, for which I congratulate the team at all levels for the result achieved. In these 25 years I have achieved a goal that I had set myself for a long time: to form a team of extraordinary technicians and sailors capable of shaping the future of sport in our country and of leaving an imprint for future generations.Now, with this Luna Rossa, I hope to also achieve my sporting goal, to win the America’s Cup“.

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Patrizio Bertelli on board the new AC75 Luna Rossa.

70,000 hours of work

The AC75 Luna Rossa that will take part in the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup was conceived by the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli design team led by coordinator Horacio Carabelli and was built by Persico Marine, which brings to six the number of hulls built for the Italian team since the 32nd America’s Cup contested in 2003 in Valencia.

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The shape of the new AC75 Luna Rossa.

The construction of the AC75 Luna Rossa required 70,000 hours of work and the use of 3,500 square metres of pre-preg carbon fibre. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s programme foresees a first sea trial session with the new AC75 towed by a motor boat and then the first sailing tests and tuning. The timetable for the transfer of the boat and the team to Barcelona for the Preliminary Regattas in August has not yet been announced.

Emilio Martinelli

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