Luna Rossa impresses sailing faster than the windspeed

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Sailing in the lightest winds yet of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge showed some legs in scoring its second point of the series.

The southwesterly wind peaked at only 13 knots, and skipper Max Sirena’s crew completed the five-leg, 9.21-nautical-mile course in 43 minutes, 6 seconds at an average speed of 17.66 knots. Their top speed of 26.37 knots came on the first downwind leg, with the wind blowing 8 to 10 knots.

Luna Rossa Challenge races again on Sunday versus Emirates Team New Zealand, and Sirena said, “We will try to sail as much as possible, hopefully tomorrow is windy day. We want to be in better conditions for the race Sunday against the Kiwis.”

About today’s race:

  • Luna Rossa Challenge sailed the five-leg America’s Cup course

  • Course length: 9.21 nautical miles

  • Elapsed time: 43 minutes, 6 seconds

  • Total distance sailed: 12.61 nautical miles

  • Average speed: 17.66 knots (20 mph)

  • Top speed: 26.37 knots (30 mph) on the second leg, downwind

  • Wind speed: average 9.37 knots; peak gust 13.1 knots


Quotes from Max Sirena, skipper, Luna Rossa Challenge:

  • On the day’s race in light winds: “Today was one of the few days with really light conditions, which is unexpected here in San Francisco. We have to get used to it because we could race in this condition in the future, but we want to maximize our time on the water.”

  • On the performance of the AC72: “Racing in 4 to 5 knots of windspeed isn’t exciting, but at least with the AC72 you move. With the old boats today we might’ve been swept out under the Golden Gate Bridge in the ebb tide. There were some points where we performed very well.”


Quotes from Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority:

  • On the crowds at the two America’s Cup venues over the past few days: “On Saturday, we had about 18,000 people through the America’s Cup Park, at Piers 27/29, and probably between 3,000 and 4,000 at the America’s Cup Village, at Marina Green, through the course of the day. On Sunday there were about 12,000 people here in the Park. Yesterday, a non-race day, there were between 3,000 and 4,000 people in the America’s Cup Park. For July, the crowds are about where we thought they’d be as we build through the summer."


The schedule ahead:

  • Thursday, July 18, Artemis Racing vs. Emirates Team New Zealand

  • Saturday, July 20, Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Artemis Racing

  • Sunday, July 21, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Luna Rossa Challenge

  • Tuesday, July 23, Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Emirates Team New Zealand


--Sean McNeill