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America's Cup: Luna Rossa drops rig in Sardinia

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 27 Jan 13:18 PST 28 January 2020
Luna Rossa dismasting - Cagliari, Sardinia -January 27, 2020 © Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa

Italian America's Cup challenger, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has dropped her rig while training in Cagliari, Sardinia.

The incident happened after both the British team and the Italians had been off the water for several days, due to strong winds and there was still a substantial sea state according to local media.

"The event took place off Capitana on a beautiful Mistral day around 15 knots", reports SailingSardinia.it

"The Mistral which finally made its appearance in the Golfo degli Angeli after a week of strong Scirocco whose big waves prevented the sea going out for AC75 of Luna Rossa (but also of Ineos)," says an auto-translation from the Italian sailing website.

"This afternoon, during a sea trial, the AC75 "Luna Rossa" dismantled a few miles from the coast in front of Marina di Capitana," Luna Rossa said in a media statement. "No team member was injured in the accident. The mast, sails and equipment were immediately recovered by the sailors on board, with the help of the shore team crew on the assistance boats."

"The whole team is already working to get back into the water as soon as possible and resume the training sessions in preparation for the America's Cup World Series debut to be held from 23 to 26 April."

Windstrength was reported by a weather station at Cape Carbonara, the nearest station to the incident showing winds increased in the morning to average 25kts from the SW around noon before easing slightly later in the afternoon. The elevation of the station is not known - which can be a factor in windstrength readings. It does explain the difference in sea state in some images as the breeze moderated during the afternoon.

Sail-World understands, confirmed by Italian sources said to be in contact with the team, and it would also appear also to be confirmed by the images, that the D-section spar did not break and that there was no damage to the rigging. The spar is to a shape restricted by the AC75 with a minimum laminate specified, however teams can add to this specification if they wish. The rigging is a one-design supplied package and it will vital for that package to be cleared of any blame for the incident.

Currently the issue has been identified by a forestay chainplate failure - which is feature that is unique to the Italian boat and was designed and manufactured by the team or a supplier.

If the spar is not broken the team is expected to be back sailing well before the America's Cup World Series in Cagliari in two and a half months.

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