Luna Rossa Challenge scores third point

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Update: 1230

Luna Rossa Challenge has collected its third point of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, after its scheduled opponent, Artemis Racing, was disqualified by the umpires. Luna Rossa was on the upwind leg when the word came from the umpires. The Italian AC72 recorded a top speed of 38.37 knots on the first reach leg of the course.

Tomorrow, Luna Rossa Challenge is scheduled to race Emirates Team New Zealand with the start set for 12:15 pm PT.

UPDATE: 1030 hours

Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge is scheduled to sail the five-leg America’s Cup course today. But with the wind forecast to build into the 20s during the race, it looks to be an abbreviated contest.

Luna Rossa’s scheduled opponent, Artemis Racing, is still working towards a launch date next week and won’t be on the racecourse. Since Luna Rossa is sailing the course solo, it has requested that Artemis Racing be disqualified 10 minutes after the start under Rule 60.5 of the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing America’s Cup edition.

The teams agreed before the start of the round robins, when it was clear Artemis Racing would not be sailing, that they could make this request to the umpires.

“The weather forecast is for the breeze to increase, and we’re expecting 18 to 22 knots,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “Coupled with a slight ebb tide on the Bay, our windspeed limit today will be 19.8 knots.

“In order to complete the race, Luna Rossa advised us last night that they would like to black flag the race which means the umps disqualify Artemis Racing and award the race to Luna Rossa 10 minutes after the start,” Murray continued. “There is also the possibility that the wind limit is breached prior to the start, at which point we’ll have to abandon activities and reschedule for Monday, a reserve day.”

Tomorrow, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand are scheduled to race at 12:15 pm PT.

Luna Rossa crew list
Skipper/pit: Max Sirena, Helmsman: Chris Draper, Tactician: Francesco Bruni, Wing trimmer: Xabi Fernandez, Trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice, Bow: Nick Hutton, Freestyle: Marco Montis, Grinders: Lele Marino, Gilles Scott, Wade Morgan, David Carr.

ORIGINAL POST: Friday, July 19

The speed potential of the AC72 undoubtedly has room to grow. On Thursday, Emirates Team New Zealand upped the top recorded speed to 44.15 knots, a .89-knot increase over its previous record. On Saturday, Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge gets an opportunity to increase its top recorded speed of 36.13 knots, and the conditions should be ripe to raise the bar yet again.

With triple-digit temperatures forecast inland, strong winds are expected on the Bay. But the AC72 doesn’t need a lot of wind to do its thing. Emirates Team New Zealand set the top mark in winds that peaked at 15.8 knots. The point of sail is the key ingredient. The Kiwis have set their top three speeds on the first or last reaching legs, and the Italians set their top speed on the final reaching leg.

The Italians, however, are focused on improving their crew maneuvers. Skipper Max Sirena said earlier this week that the team’s upcoming races against Emirates Team New Zealand (on Sunday and Tuesday) are important to gauge their development. The two teams sailed a pair of practice races on Wednesday and Luna Rossa was also out practicing yesterday. Neither team was out today.

“We need to maximize our time on the water, so we’re sailing as much as possible,” Sirena said on Tuesday. “We want to be in better condition for our race against the Kiwis.”

The race is scheduled to start at 12:15 pm PT, and you can follow Luna Rossa’s progression on the official America’s Cup app and Virtual Eye.

The America’s Cup Park, at Piers 27/29, and the America’s Cup Village, at Marina Green, will be open throughout the weekend and offer great views of the racing.

America’s Cup Park - Saturday, July 20

10am - America’s Cup Park opens to the public
11am - Kid’s World Park Tour - meet at the ‘A’ by the Main Entrance
11am-2pm - Ben & Jerry’s Free Scoop Giveaway
TBC - Fly By: Luna Rossa Challenge AC72
12-1pm - “America’s Cup Magazine Show” with Andy and Tucker plus Team representatives
12:15pm - Live Racing: Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Artemis racing (not sailing)
Post-Race - Post Race Show with Andy and Tucker
1:30-2:00pm - ORACLE TEAM USA Defender Access (The team has indicated it will not be sailing)
2-2:30pm - Poster Signing with Team representatives
3pm - AC Sweepstake, Plaza
3-4pm - America’s Cup Trophy on display at the ‘A’ -Main Entrance
7pm - America’s Cup Park closes (Sports Bar, PUMA may remain open until 11pm)
7pm - Concert: Best of Tchaikovsky With The San Francisco Symphony - America’s Cup Pavilion

America’s Cup Village - Saturday, July 20
11am - America’s Cup Village opens to the public
11am-12pm - America’s Cup Trophy on display on the Deck
11:15am-12pm - Pre-Race Live Commentary with Bob Billingham and Tom Ehman
TBC - Fly By: Luna Rossa Challenge AC72
12:15pm - Live Racing: Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Artemis racing (not sailing)
1-1:15pm - Post-Race Run-Down with Bob Billingham and Tom Ehman
1:15-4:30pm - AC OPEN: Kite Board Racing & Live Commentary
1:30-2:15pm - Full race Replay on the Big Screen
2:15-4pm - Film: AC Discovered on the Big Screen, music at the Beer Garden & Deck
4pm - America’s Cup Village Closes