Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge is getting ready to launch its AC72 in Auckland this week, where the team will train over the Southern Hemisphere summer.
Skipper Max Sirena says preparing the new boat has been the main focus for the team for several weeks, at the expense of results in the last AC World Series event earlier this month in San Francisco. The two Luna Rossa crews finished in 9th and 11th place, after consistently placing on the podium in their previous events.
"This week has been the worst… But we consider it an investment in the future," Sirena said after the final race. "Now we’re ready to move forward and concentrate on the AC72, with which we will race in the America’s Cup, our ultimate goal.”
"We've very much been focused on our move to Auckland and getting ready for the AC72," helmsman Chris Draper agreed. "For the next six months, we'll use the AC45s as training boats, but we'll be putting almost all of our attention into the AC72."
Luna Rossa Challenge has a technical and training arrangement with Emirates Team New Zealand that has the teams scheduled to sail together on the waters off Auckland over the coming months.
Luna Rossa's AC72 launch ceremony is planned for Friday October 26. The team will have video and photos from the ceremony available on its website.