by Bob Fisher
Luna Rossa - Louis Vuitton Cup, Round Robin 3, Race 2, July 20, 2013
The doings around the 34th America’s Cup, and its precursor, the Louis Vuitton Cup, would have baffled even Lewis Carroll.
His Alice would have needed more than going through the looking glass to unravel the puzzles this event is creating. A sunny Saturday in California should have provided the answers but instead it left more unanswered questions.
What, for instance, is the organizing authority hoping to gain from protesting one of the competitors for not having a hospitality facility in the Club 72 building in the America’s Cup Park? That the team in question is Luna Rossa is the only unsurprising fact – it appears that a spat exists between it and ACEA.
On the race course, the spectators were treated to another sail-around-alone, but this one had an added twist. Ten minutes after the Italian boat had crossed the starting line at 37.1 knots in the 18.7-knot south-westerly breeze, the Principal Race Officer announced that their 'opponent', Artemis had been awarded a Black Flag for not starting within the time limit and that Luna Rossa was the race winner.
It didn’t appear to faze the Luna Rossa team, which just carried on around the five-leg course for the benefit of practice on the course area in the Bay. The Italians waited for almost three hours after the race had finished before sending two of the crew to meet the media (whose numbers, as a result, had seriously diminished). They reasoned that, being a small team, it needed all the crew to assist in the de-rigging of the boat and wing.