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America's Cup: Barcelona welcomes Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli

by America's Cup Media 3 Jul 2023 17:09 PDT
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC40 - Day 10 - July 3, 2023 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

The crystal waters off the Barcelona beachfront became a busy place today as Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli conducted their first sailing session at the 37th America’s Cup venue in their stylish one design AC40 joining both NYYC American Magic and Alinghi Red Bull Racing who were all out training today.

The summer conditions were near perfect for training with a beautiful building ‘Garbi’ sea breeze that delivered 7-9knots at 1pm before filling-in to 15 knots mid-afternoon and ending at just over 20 knots by early evening over a short, confused chop and the Italian team were quick to make the most of the conditions, starting fast and looking mightily impressive in their opening sailing session along the America’s Cup racecourse.

A crew swap after a short break brought the most dramatic moment of the day, however, with the AC40 getting high and loose downwind after a gybe on the chop causing the rudder to come out of the water and quickly the team were into a corkscrew capsize. Francesco Bruni later explained the situation saying: “It was a very good day, nice sea breeze, we had a very good first part of the sailing session we did a lot of manoeuvres, the boat was behaving very well, it was our first day in Barcelona which is a very important moment for the team, then we did a crew swap and in one of the gybes the rudder came out of the water, maybe the sea state was becoming a little bit bigger and just a little mistake ended up in a capsize which for these boats is quite normal, but we wanted to do a shorter session anyway. We broke the wind instruments on the bow sprit, so we decided to go in.”

The famous Barcelona swells that ride along the coastline and pick up on the various man-made reefs dotted along the beachfront to protect the beaches will, for sure, take a while to appreciate and master but Francesco was relaxed about his first experience of sailing the AC40 in Barcelona saying: “I think today was not a crazy day for waves, there were some waves for sure, it was not a flat spot, but I'm sure that we will see more than today. Definitely it was more waves than the wind, a little bit of the sea state was not very organised, was a little bit confused, but yeah very interesting conditions for sure.”

Reflecting on the day overall, Francesco was super positive about the sailing area saying: “I think it was quite a moment when we were out of there and there were boats coming around us…so we could look at Alinghi (Red Bull Racing) a couple of times sailing by with the big boat today it was interesting, we saw the Americans were doing some testing, we don't have the ability to do any sailing with other teams due to the Protocol but it was already enjoyable to go across their lines a few times.”

Bruni had only jetted into Barcelona the evening before but spoke on behalf of the team about the venue and the city saying: “I only arrived last night so it was a very short preparation, some of the guys have been here for a longer time. I'm sure we will love Barcelona, from what we saw already, it’s quite an impressive city. We love it already.”

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will maintain their base in Cagliari for the continued work on the LEQ12 development prototype and split their time between training in Barcelona and Sardinia. Welcome to Barcelona Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli!

In our regular Cup Spy edition for July 3, 2023, Sail-World will feature Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's first sail in Barcelona along with the other two teams - Alinghi Red Bull Racing in their AC75 and American Magic, who sailed both their AC45OD and LEQ12 (AC40) against each other off Barcelona.

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