Today Luna Rossa Challenge faced Emirates Team New Zealand for the second time in the Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robin.
At the start Luna Rossa Challenge entered from the right side on starboard tack, with Emirates Team New Zealand on port side. Luna Rossa won the prestart crossing the line windward and half a boat length in front, but the Kiwis’ boat sailed through and rounded inside the reaching mark. Luna Rossa jibed immediately after the mark, whereas Emirates Team New Zealand chose the inshore jibe.
At the leeward gate both the boats chose the right-hand mark, with Emirates Team New Zealand taking a 24 seconds lead.
At one third of the first windward leg Emirates Team New Zealand broke the jib and had to let it go in the water. Luna Rossa closed the gap but was then forced to tack and to sail into a lighter wind patch when the Kiwis chase boat came in their way to pick up the head sail. At the windward gate Luna Rossa rounded with 42 seconds delay.
On the second downwind leg Emirates Team New Zealand increased the lead on Luna Rossa, rounding the downwind gate 1 minute and 10 seconds ahead.
On the second beat Luna Rossa chased the Kiwis boat, but a penalty for boundaries further slowed down the Italian team, whose delay at windward mark was of 1 minute and 54 seconds. At that stage the Luna Rossa had lost contact with the New Zealanders, was not able to reduce the gap during the last downwind leg crossing the finish line 2 minutes and 20 seconds behind.
Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena declared: 'The fact that Emirates Team New Zealand sailed pretty fast with no jib was not surprising for us. We already knew that it is the wing that generates the speed on AC72s. In certain conditions when sailing upwind the jib only helps in the tacks and gives some little additional lift, but it is also a drag.
'Obviously we have lots of ground to make up on the Kiwis, but this week we reduced the gap introducing some new technical developments and focusing on both handling and crew work. Each time we sail we feel more confident and hopefully we’ll have bridged the gap by the Louis Vuitton semi-final. We are taking advantage of the Round Robins to improve our performances; that’s how we planned our America’s Cup campaign, which started more then one year after the other teams.'
Luna Rossa Challenge will be back on the race course on Tuesday July 23rd for the third scheduled match against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Today’s crew for Luna Rossa Challenge was: Max Sirena (skipper and pitman), Francesco Bruni (tactician), David Carr (pitman/grinder), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Simone de Mari (primary grinder), Chris Draper (helmsman), Xabi Fernandez (wing trimmer), Nick Hutton (bowman), Lele Marino (wing grinder), Marco Montis (freestyler), Giles Scott (hydraulic grinder).
Sunday July 21st, San Francisco: low clouds breaking to some sunshine, 16-18 knots of wind from South-West, flat sea, ebb tide 2 knots. Race start at 12.15 local time.
by Luna Rossa Media
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3:39 AM Mon 22 Jul 2013GMT
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