Today Luna Rossa Challenge raced against Emirates Team New Zealand in the first of the two regattas of the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals. The Race Committee postponed Race 2 due to wind strength exceeding the limit.
Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Final - Race 1
Before the start Luna Rossa suffered damages to the starboard daggerboard but thanks to a temporary repair was able to enter the pre-start box on time. The Italian team obtained the inside on leeward but crossed the starting line slightly behind the Kiwis. Luna Rossa nevertheless maintained a good speed throughout the reaching leg and rounded the first mark half a boat length behind her opponent.
After only a few minutes of sailing on the downwind leg Luna Rossa again incurred in the same problem on the starboard daggerboard and was forced to slow down considerably.
At the windward gate Emirates Team New Zealand, while bearing away, dug both bows deeply in the water, with an instant speed break from 40.7 to 13 knots. The violence of the jolt was such that two crew members fell overboard (note: recovered and unharmed) although their boat suffered considerable damage to the fairing. Despite the setback the New Zealand boat was still able to complete the race and scored its first point in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals; Luna Rossa was considered DNF.
Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa wait for the start of Race 1 of the Final of the Louis Vuitton Cup
Max Sirena, Luna Rossa skipper, stated: 'First of all we are relieved by the news that that no one got hurt on Emirates Team New Zealand. From our side, even after a bad day like today, there are few positive aspects that are worth mentioning. On the reach, although we were sailing in a disadvantaged position, we maintained a speed not much lower than the Kiwis. We also tested wing two again and registered a definite increase in boat speed.'
Luna Rossa Challenge will race against Emirates Team New Zealand again tomorrow, Sunday August 18th, for the second and the third match of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals.
Conditions for Saturday August 17th, San Francisco: partially cloudy skies, 17-18 knots wind from South West, choppy sea, ebb tide 2 knots. The race started at 13.32 local time.
Today’s crew was: Max Sirena (skipper and pitman), Francesco Bruni (tactician), David Carr (pitman/grinder), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Giles Scott (primary grinder), Chris Draper (helmsman), Xabi Fernandez (wing trimmer), Nick Hutton (bowman), Lele Marino (wing grinder), Marco Montis (freestyler) and Wade Morgan (hydraulic grinder).