Luna Rossa swims with piranhas

Chris Draper (left) and Paul Campbell-James are emulated in caricatures by Luna Rossa Challenge as a piranha and swordfish © ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget Chris Draper (left) and Paul Campbell-James are emulated in caricatures by Luna Rossa Challenge as a piranha and swordfish © ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget


Luna Rossa’s two AC45 catamarans were distinguished by the swordfish and piranha on the bows and wing sails © LUNA ROSSA / Carlo Borlenghi Luna Rossa’s two AC45 catamarans were distinguished by the swordfish and piranha on the bows and wing sails © LUNA ROSSA / Carlo Borlenghi


The piranha caricature is emblazoned on the team’s AC72 wing sail © LUNA ROSSA / Carlo Borlenghi The piranha caricature is emblazoned on the team’s AC72 wing sail © LUNA ROSSA / Carlo Borlenghi


Luna Rossa’s two AC45s were two of the sharpest looking cats on the America’s Cup World Series. White hulls with the familiar red stripes on the aft quarters and front element of the wing sail were instantly recognizable. The only way to distinguish between the two cats was the fish on the bows and wing sails—one a piranha, the other a swordfish.

Skipper Max Sirena chuckles with a wide smile when he explains how they came to be: “The two logos came about by looking at the two helmsmen. CJ (Paul Campbell-James, the first helmsman of Luna Rossa Swordfish) has a pronounced nose. And Chris (Draper, the helmsman of Luna Rossa Piranha), when he’s laughing he looks like the piranha.”

The AC45s retired, Luna Rossa chose to keep the piranha logo for the AC72. “We chose the piranha not because we chose Chris as helmsman, but because we like the character of the piranha,” Sirena said. “And Mr. Bertelli (Patrizio Bertelli, the syndicate head) likes the choice.”