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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Cup Spy: Luna Rossa's LEQ12 has first sail in Sardinia

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 25 Oct 2022 00:39 PDT 23 October 2022
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - October 24, 2022 - Cagliari, Sardinia © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

Six times Italian America's Cup Challenger, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli became the fourth America's Cup team to get sailing off their base in Cagliari, Sardinia on Monday.

Key points October 24, 2022:

  • Luna Rossa had their first sail in their new LEQ12 off Cagliari in light airs.
  • None of the other teams have sailed since Friday.
  • Brits are expected to splash their LEQ12 some time this week from Mallorca, Spain

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli went for their first sail off their base in Cagliari, Sardinia on Monday.

It was the first LEQ12 to be sailed by any America's Cup team. An LEQ12 is a surrogate boat permitted under the America's Cup Protocol. They must be less than or equal to 12metres overall length. A team is only allowed one LEQ12 - which are used for testing components (limited in number and alteration) to be incorporated in the full size AC75 race boat. Teams are allowed to sail a combination of three types of test, or surrogate boats. As well as LEQ12s, teams are permitted to sail Version 1 AC75's and AC40's either as a One Design or taken out of class and used as an LEQ12.

The Luna Rossa sailing crew on Monday, included double America's Cup champion, Jimmy Spithill; Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold medalist Ruggero Tita; Olympic 49er sailor Umberto Molineris; and another 49er sailor Andrea Teseri, he was recruited by Luna Rossa from the New Generation project, Auckland 2021

They sailed their LEQ12 surrogate yacht fitted with a Y-shaped wingfoil on the port arm and a T-shaped foil on the starboard foil arm. The rudder had a W-shaped foil for the elevator.

Gilberto Nobili (Operations Manager and Mechatronics) said in a dockside statement after the sail:

"It was a very light wind today in Caliari but we are very happy about our day. We went out after the towing test a few days ago. Today we are sailed for the first time The wind was not enough to properly sail by ourselves. So we did a take off by towing [behind a chase boat]. There was not enough wind to maneuver [tack/gybe at the end of a run]. But all the system checks went well, and all the systems are working, we are very happy."

"Unfortunately the forecast is for very strong breeze in the next few days. So we will try to go out again tomorrow. Hopefully there is enough wind to allow us to foil properly and we will try to do the first maneuvers [foiling tack/gybe]. But obviously we are weather dependent and for the moment is not very promising for a few days."

Unfortunately there was no video posted on the Recon system other than the highlights, but normally in light winds with a towing take-off the boat is fine in a straight line, and will generate its own apparent wind - so there would not have been a lot to see. Other reports had it that there were five runs of 2-3 minutes duration, with the LEQ12 hitting 28kts according to a pace boat speedometer.

It will be interesting to see the sea-state off Cagliari, and whether this is similar to Barcelona.

Session Statistics - Cagliari - October 24, 2022 - Luna Rossa - LEQ12

  • Wind Strength 3kts (AM) 7kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: NW (AM) SSE (PM)
  • Sea State: 0.4m SE
  • Roll out: 0900hrs Dock Out: 1330hrs
  • Dock In: 1800hrs Crane out:
  • Total Tacks: 2 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Additional Images of the Day:

This commentary was written and compiled from video, still images and statistical content extracted from the AC37 Joint Recon program and other material available to Sail-World NZ including photo files, and other on the water coverage from the 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2021 America's Cups.

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