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America's Cup: Luna Rossa announces eight member Power team. AC75 race boat hits the road

by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli/Sail-World.com/nz 16 Mar 04:38 PDT 17 March 2024
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli leaves the Persico Marine build facility in Bergamo, bound for Cagliari, Sardinia © Carlo Borlenghi

Luna Rosa Prada Pirelli have announced a "power bank" of eight cyclors who will pressure up the hydraulic systems aboard the Italian America's Cup Challenger.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's Power Team includes athletes with different backgrounds and from several sports: from the world of rowing are Romano Battisti (silver medalist in London 2012), Emanuele Liuzzi (Bronze at the World Championships in Sarasota), Bruno Rosetti (Bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics), Nicholas Brezzi (seven world championships and multiple medals), Cesare Gabbia (several medals between world and European championships), and Luca Kirwan (participation in the 2019 U23 World Championships). Paolo Simion comes from professional cycling (three times Giro d'Italia and winning the last stage of the Tour of Croatia), while Enrico Voltolini, in addition to being boat captain of the AC40, has participated in two Olympic campaigns in Finn and Star and won several international regattas. Finally, Mattia Camboni is a former windsurfing champion (several gold and silver medals and a fifth place at the Tokyo Games).

The physical effort of an America's Cup cyclor is massive, although concentrated in a relatively brief time (the average duration of a regatta is about 20/25 minutes) and for this reason the athletes undergo specific training that not only maximizes physical power, but focus greatly on mobility to prevent injuries.

Supported by Pharmanutra (the team's Human Performance Partner), and assisted by physiotherapist Stefano De Pirro, the cyclors also follow a careful diet, specifically designed to boost muscle mass and rebalance kcal loss since, in each regatta, they burn an average of 600 kcal.

Although the cyclors primary job is to physically generate power, they also have a 360-degree view of the functioning of the AC75, and as part of the crew they require an understanding of the boat, the race, timing and maneuvers. During the training phase - cyclors follow an interdisciplinary daily routine that includes specific workouts dedicated to muscle power, but also participation in activities of the sailing crew to gain insight and familiarity with the different roles on board.

"The cyclor program was very challenging," said Max Sirena, Skipper and Team Director of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. "As soon as we learned that the new Protocol would include cyclors on board, we immediately got in touch with the top specialists of the sport in Italy to figure out what the best physical profile would be for us. The choices we made were basically dictated by weight, because to fit within the parameters of the regulations (which impose a minimum and maximum limit for both the boat and the crew), an America's Cup cyclor must weigh between 95 and 110 kg.

"Such a profile in the cycling world is hard to find, and the few who do have it are committed to their career paths. We looked primarily at rowing, the sport that is closest to cycling in performance and physical characteristics. In the team we selected there are in fact several former rowers: some were already with us in the 2021 Cup; others (such as Rosetti, Gabbia, and Kirwan) are "new entries" with great athletic prowess. Paolo Simion, on the other hand, comes from professional cycling and has worked hard to put on weight; he has also helped us to improve on the type of training.

Finally, Voltolini and Camboni, with their traditional "sailing" background, perfectly complete the team that, I am sure, will work very well and make a difference in the Barcelona races."

Once training and sea trials with the new AC75 begin, the cyclors will rotate on board to prepare for the Spanish regattas.

Race boat exits build facility:

On social media the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli have released images of their AC75 race boat leaving the Persico Marine build facility at Bergamo, northern Italy, bound for the team base in Cagliari, Sardinia, where it will be commissioned, before commencing sailing trials. Late last month the Italians were one of four teams that gave the required two months notice of their intention to launch their AC75 raceboat. However they did not provide a specific date.

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