Today Luna Rossa Challenge defeated Emirates Team New Zealand in the second regatta of the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals. Race n° 3 did not start due to the wind strength exceeding the limit.
Luna Rossa entered the pre-start box on starboard tack, obtained the inside and crossed the starting line on leeward together with the Kiwis. At first the New Zealanders rolled over Luna Rossa but, right after that, the Italians resumed a good speed and rounded the first mark less than one boat length behind.
On the run Luna Rossa decided for an early jibe whereas Team New Zealand chose to sail inshore. The two teams sailed downwind maintaining a very similar average speed (32.08 knots Luna Rossa and 32.21 knots Emirates Team New Zealand) and at the downwind gate the two teams had a 300-meters gap (23 seconds).
Both teams started the first windward leg heading offshore and then tacked inshore; the tacks required to complete the leg did not modify the gap between the two boats. In proximity of the windward gate Emirates Team New Zealand incurred in a hydraulic problem with the daggerboards and quickly slowed down to 8 knots of speed.
At that point Luna Rossa took the lead to win the race and evened the score in the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand to 1-1 with a victory in Race 2.
At the end of the race Max Sirena declared: 'This is our first point in a Finals race against the Kiwis so we are pleased to have interrupted their series of victories. Today it was their turn experiencing a technical problem; I know we have improved a lot and are closing the gap… and this has allowed us to both optimize on an opportunity and to exploit an unforeseen issue that, for once, was in our favour.'
Luna Rossa completed the 10.02 -nautical mile course in 25 minutes, 34 seconds, maintaining an average speed of 26.9 knots and reaching a maximum speed of 39.90 knots.
Luna Rossa Challenge will race again against Emirates Team New Zealand, tomorrow Monday August 19st, for the third and the fourth match of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals.
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 Simone de Mari (hydraulic grinder).
Conditions - Sunday August 18th, San Francisco: foggy day, 16-17 knots wind from South West, choppy sea, ebb tide 2,3 knots. Race start at 13.10 local time.
by Luna Rossa Media - 1:11 AM Mon 19 Aug 2013 GMT
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