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America's Cup: Luna Rossa splash LED12 in Cagliari and become fourth team to launch

by Luna Rossa media 13 Oct 2022 14:03 PDT 14 October 2022
Miuccia Prada christens Luna Rossa's LEQ12 or Prototype at Cagliari, Sardinia October 13, 2022 © Luca Butto

The futuristic Luna Rossa Prototype, that will showcase the team's return to on-water training, was launched today at 2 pm local time at the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli base.

The sailing sessions with this boat will be essential for the crew but even more so for the research and development program that will lead to the design of the new AC75 with which the team will compete in the 37th America's Cup in 2024 in Barcelona (Spain).

Miuccia Prada, godmother of the launch, smashed the traditional bottle on the bow of the boat, christening her Luna Rossa. Alongside her, Patrizio Bertelli (President of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team), Marco Tronchetti Provera (Executive Vice President and CEO of Pirelli), Max Sirena (Team Director and Skipper) and Agostino Randazzo (President of the Circolo della Vela Sicilia).

The Luna Rossa Prototype was conceived, designed and built at the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli base in compliance with the rules imposed by the 37th America's Cup Protocol. The project is highly innovative and complex from an engineering and technological standpoint and encompasses experimental solutions in every area, with cutting edge technology in all materials.

Manufactured with carbon composites, the building process required nearly 10 months and over 30.000 work hours of over 25 people and 40 members of the design team. For the construction of the hull and composite components, 5.000 square meters of carbon fiber were used in the different materials that make up the structural core.

The boat has a wing mast with sails, similar to those used for the AC75, featuring North Sails technology. The bowsprit will be smaller and no longer used for the Code 0 (not required in the next edition of the Cup) but as a support for the technical equipment on board.

The launch was an occasion to present the new Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team which, compared to the last edition, has grown to include several new talents, some of which very young. Each new entry will bring strength to the various departments, in particular to the design and sailing teams.

The crew will start training on the water in the next few days, with a rotation that will allow all sailors to gain confidence with the new boat.

Patrizio Bertelli, President of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team: "I have assisted to many launches, but it is always exciting when you see a boat touch the water for the first time. I want to congratulate the whole team for having designed and built a hull that is so complex and original, from every point of view, entirely inside our Cagliari base. I am sure that this prototype will be of great help to develop the new AC75 with which we will race in this new edition of the America's Cup. In a few days we will receive the first feedback from the crew at sea and, because of the innovative nature of this project, I know it will exceed our expectations".

"Tradition, technology and passion for challenges are the most important elements of the America's Cup, values ??that Pirelli has always held up. We are on board once again to support a project we believe in, a talented team and a boat, Luna Rossa, which over the years has contributed to writing the history of this extraordinary competition. We are proud and honoured to see the Pirelli brand on these sails that carry so much tradition and which will make many Italians dream once again, and not just those who are passionate about the sea. Both boat and crew have the potential to win and create emotion. Today we are here to celebrate the beginning of another splendid adventure".

Max Sirena, Team Director and Skipper: "To see the Luna Rossa Prototype touch the water is a source of great pride. It is a very innovative project in which we will concentrate all our development, that will be transferred to the new AC75 with which we will participate in the 37th America's Cup. It has been a complex process; we pushed in all sectors, drawing also on our experience from the last edition, to optimize the fundamental aspects, define the lines and increase the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic development. For the Luna Rossa challenge this launch is the real kick off. Beyond the technical use of the boat, this prototype also allowed us to restart the campaign in the right gear and team-up immediately, which is essential when you change so many people in different departments. The construction process here in Cagliari at our base has been an excellent exercise also from a human standpoint: the challenge of a new hull to build and refine has given the whole team a strong physical and mental charge. Today we have taken an extra step in our journey towards the 37th America's Cup; I want to thank Patrizio Bertelli, without whom all this would not have been possible, Marco Tronchetti Provera, who has chosen to renew the historic partnership of Pirelli, our sponsors Panerai and The Woolmark Company, and all the other partners and suppliers who are on board and support us. I also want to take this opportunity to give a warm welcome to Unipol and thank them for deciding to join us as official sponsor. The challenge starts today".

Agostino Randazzo, President of the Circolo della Vela Sicilia: "The Circolo della Vela Sicilia is proud to hoist its burgee on such an innovative boat and to always be alongside Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli on its journey towards the 37th America's Cup. On behalf of the whole Club, I warmly congratulate the team for its incredible work: this prototype is definitely a step forward in the design of America's Cup hulls and will be significant for the development of the new AC75 which will go in the water in Barcelona".

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