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America's Cup: Luna Rossa announces Challenge for AC37 has been accepted

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 16 Dec 2021 09:50 PST 17 December 2021
AC75 sails had to go from being 15% camber to get foiling to 0% to reduce drag - Luna Rossa - Hauraki Gulf - January 23, - Prada Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com / nz

Luna Rossa Challenge has announced that the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has accepted the challenge of the Circolo Della Vela Sicilia and the Luna Rossa Team, filed on 1 December 2021.

In the coming weeks the Prada and Patrizio Bertelli team, led by Max Sirena, will continue to complete the team, Italian sailing website Farevela.net reports.

There are therefore four, and all highly competitive, teams challenging the defender Emirates Team New Zealand for the next America's Cup in 2024, Farevela says.

In addition to Luna Rossa and Alinghi Red Bull Racing, INEOS Team Britannia and the former American Magic will ensure a very high level of technology and competition.

Now all that remains is to wait for the announcement of the Cup venue, expected by March 2022, the report concludes.

Entries close on July 31, 2022, and there are expected to be more entries than for the 36th America's Cup, than the last.

With the acceptance of the entry by the defender, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Luna Rossa is liable for payment of the first entry installment of USD$1million.

Luna Rossa Challenge is now owned by Prada Group, who have also exercised their right of renewal to be naming rights sponsor for the America's Cup regattas, however whether that can be successfully negotiated into a contract for naming rights, remains to be seen. Part of that negotiation hinges around the yet to be announced venue selection. The team which has challenged for the America's Cup with seven times with six participations, was previously owned by a company controlled by Patrizio Bertelli, who has led the team for 22 years. The sale price has been reported at is €12 million euros, an extra payment of €5million if certain tax benefits are realized, within 19 months of the sale. This is the first time the value of a team has been published - and comes about as part of a notification of a material change in Prada Group, which is a publicly listed company. The management of Prada Group is being transferred to Lorenzo Bertelli, currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Prada Group.

Under the nationality rules that apply for the 37th America's Cup, the Luna Rossa AC36 sailing team are eligible to only sail for Italy, with the possible exception of twice Cup winning helmsman, Jimmy Spithill, who is believed to be eligible for Luna Rossa by virtue of the his participation in AC36 for the team.

At least two other teams are expected to challenge for the 37th America's Cup.

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