Max Sirena - Luna Rossa
Pierre Orphanidis of leading European sailing website vsail.info spoke with Luna Rossa skipper, Max Sirena, with the Italian team's AC72 yacht scheduled to arrive in San Francisco in a week and the sailing team preparing in Naples for the final America's Cup World Series event, Max Sirena gave us an update on the latest developments at the Italian America's Cup Challenger - Luna Rossa:
VSail.info: You must be happy to be back racing in Italy with Luna Rossa?
Max Sirena: I'm always happy to be back here, especially after last year's incredible event. I had never, ever, seen so many people watching a sailing competition.
VSail.info: Let's talk about the period Luna Rossa spent in Auckland. Do you think you have reached the goals you had set?
Max Sirena: I'm convinced the period we spent in Auckland has been very positive and in fact we might we have done and achieved a lot more than what we thought would be possible. You should keep in mind we started more than a year later than the other teams and, given the complexity of the AC72's, we feared we wouldn't be able to achieve what we wanted. On the contrary, the team worked very well and this allowed us to advance greatly both on and off the water. We were able to do much more than what we had initially scheduled even if, on purpose, we decided to keep a very low-profile communication. We decided not to issue press releases every day, the way the other teams are doing.
VSail.info: Why didn't you want to communicate? After all, if you achieve more than you plan, it is a positive message.
Max Sirena: It was my own, personal request. I wanted the team to work relaxed, without too many media distractions. It's my personal philosophy, I'd rather have the media talk about us when we win our races. I don't want to communicate drivel every day, the way our friends are doing.
VSail.info: Isn't that 'drivel', as you call it, also part of marketing? You have the luxury of having Patrizio Bertelli funding the team so you probably don't feel any marketing pressure.
Max Sirena: That's true, that's a major advantage we have compared to the other teams. The fact our main sponsor is also the owner of the team allows us the liberty to adopt such a low-profile communications policy. However, and this is my own personal opinion, people aren't interested in reading every day on Facebook whether you played frisbee or whether you bought a nice truck. This is a bit pitiful. On the other hand, obviously, we can't put on the internet the videos of what we have been doing and testing on the boat every day. This is why we decided at the end of our period in Auckland to publish the video of our last day of sailing, to show that we are here and we are working hard.
VSail.info: What is your program now? From what I see on the America's Cup noticeboard you sailed your AC72 for the last time on March 15th. What have you done since then?
Max Sirena: That's correct, we last sailed on March 15th. We obviously took the opportunity and carried a general debrief of everything we did in Auckland. This pause also allowed us to pick up and transfer our base to San Francisco as well as carry out some modifications on our boat.
VSail.info: What are those modifications?
Max Sirena: There will be an upgrade from an aerodynamic point of view and without any doubt she will be a different boat from what you saw in her last sailing days in Auckland. There is also an ongoing development program that will see the arrival of our new appendages in early June. We will start sailing in San Francisco between May 8th and 10th and steadily all the new upgrades will be arriving, from early May to mid June.
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