“For us, it will be a completely different Cup. In all the boats competing there will be a piece of ours ”. And the ‘piece’ referred to by Marcello Persico, Managing Director of Persico Marine, is the component that, together with the return to monohulls, makes the 36th America’s Cup all new: foil arms.
“ Challenge of Record and Defender commissioned us this one-design element – continues Mr. Persico – We have built 16, four for each team. It was a beautiful and very complex project where many aspects of a challenge must be put together”.
So, after a first test on the arm prototype that had highlighted resistance problems, all teams collaborated with Persico Marine for the construction of the carbon arms on AC75 yachts. “Every arm weighs 450 kilograms. We worked with extreme precision and the highest quality controls. In the end, the arms were given to the teams by drawing lots”. Meanwhile, in another Persico Marine department, Luna Rossa’s Boat 1 was being created. “ After 2007 and 2013 America’s Cup, this is the third time we support Luna Rossa. This time, we have felt part of the team, developing a project in a positive way”. With almost 70,000 hours of work/man per boat, more than double the time it took in 2019 to build Thomas Ruyant’s Imoca, the two Luna Rossa are a concentration of technological solutions where another sector of the Persico Group has also intervened.
“Metal parts – explains Marcello Persico – were developed by our automotive department. We have been working in the nautical sector since 2008 but we have been collaborating with the world’s top car manufacturers for 40 years”. It is also thanks to this experience that unique construction results have been achieved on Luna Rossa. “This America’s Cup campaign is special. Major interventions on boats are impossible. In other editions,it was possible to change the bows or, as happened to us, to build new components once the races started. Today, things have changed. Every team, for example, can have only three sets of two wings”.
Meanwhile, Marcello Persico is working on other important Persico Marine projects. Like the Persico 69 F, a foil-equipped dinghy which, presented in January 2019, has achieved a very important success, with 10 units built. “ This means that owner-driver boats are really good”. Added to this are many other projects, from the ClubSwan 80 to two carbon motoryachts, still under construction: a 55-footer by Mani Frers and a 100-footer. “ Our future plans might also include a foil-equipped 80-footer”. However, Marcello Persico has one regret.
“ Once a project is finished, we always have a party with our families, children included. This time, due to pandemic, this was not possible. So, when the Luna Rossa left to Auckland, I was a little sad. I hope we’ll make up for it some other time. Maybe to celebrate the Cup in Italy”.