Congressional Cup- Luna Rossa makes podium in first event

Luna Rossa finishes third in the 2014 Congressional Cup, Long Beach CA, USA
For the 50th anniversary of the race the Long Beach Yacht Club chose to invite the best world talents in match racing.

In addition to Francesco Bruni, helmsman of Luna Rossa and winner in 2010, nine skippers of the highest level participated in the event, including four who had already won the Congressional Cup at least once: Ian Williams, Mathieu Richard, Simone Ferrarese (respectively numbers 2, 5 and 8 of the world match race ranking list ) and Johnie Berntsson.

Joining them this year was also Taylor Canfield (USA), currently number one in the world match racing ranking list.

The Luna Rossa team, who came out third from the double round robin (12-6), faced Ian Williams, four-time match race world champion, in the semifinals; the other semifinal took place between Taylor Canfield, skipper from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Australian Keith Swinton.

The Semifinals kicked off with in winds ranging 7 to 10 knots. The Luna Rossa team, on a tie (1-1), started the third race, the decisive one, in the lead, but took a penalty during the first downwind leg, thus giving Williams the place in the Final.

In the petit-final Francesco Bruni beat Australian Keith Swinton, sixth in the world ranking list of match racing, 2-1; winner of the Final of the 50th edition of the Congressional Cup is Taylor Canfield with a score of 2-1 against Ian Williams.

'Participation in the Congressional Cup is part of the Luna Rossa’s program of preparation for the 35th America’s Cup' said Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa. 'We hit the podium and, considering that it was the first time that we raced with this new configuration on board, the result is encouraging. We made some mistakes and we paid for them, but we know what to work on; the team is solid, there is room for improvement and I’m satisfied with the choices we made.'

The ten skippers raced on monohull one-design Catalina 37 boats in a double round robin, at the end of which four teams had access to the semifinals and then to the final; the six scratched crews faced each other in a fleet race.

The Luna Rossa team consisted of Francesco Bruni (helmsman), Adam Minoprio (tactician), Xabier Fernandez (mainsail trimmer), Simeon Tienpont (pitman), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Max Sirena (bowman).

http://www.sail-world.com/121096