The 36^ America's Cup: an overwhelming journey and a sportsmanship show by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team
Auckland (NZ), March 17, 2021 - After 10 incredible and hard-fought regattas the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA comes to an end with a 7 - 3 score in favour of the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.
After the first three days in which the two teams alternated their position on the leaderboard, and a fourth day in which racing was not possible due to lack of wind, the New Zealanders were able to win two consecutive races that allowed them to take the lead on day five, and winning one regatta yesterday and the last one today.
Today’s race, set up on Course A, starts with a 30’ delay to allow the wind to build and stabilize on the racecourse.
Luna Rossa enters on starboard and right after crossing the line the start stays on the left of the course, while Emirates Team New Zealand immediately tacks to go take the right side of the course, to defend it throughout the whole upwind leg.
At the first upwind gate the kiwis have a lead of only 7 seconds, but this advantage increases during each leg, and they finally close the regatta 46 seconds in front of Luna Rossa.
Max Sirena, Skipper e Team Director
"We went out this morning determined to win two races and confident that we could do so. The boys on board were incredibly motivated and focused, and it wasn’t easy for them.
They started well, but unfortunately right after the start the wind shifted of 20 degrees and compromised the first downwind leg, and at that point the rest of the race. Obviously we aren’t’ happy with the final results; after you have won three races in the America’s Cup you start believing that you can do it. We have given our very best every day out on the water.
I want to thank everyone in Italy who has supported us throughout these incredible nights. And I want to thank the team, who has worked with me for over three years. I thank Patrizio Bertelli for the opportunity he has given me. These three and a half years have been unforgettable."
Francesco Bruni, Helmsman
“It’s obviously been a really tough day; we started really well but the kiwi boat has an extra edge that didn’t allow us to match them. We tried to keep the race very close, with a very first good first lap, but at the downwind gate we lost the rudder in their bad air, it stalled and at that point we got left behind. It has been an amazing experience, and I think we lost with dignity and honour. Working with this team has been our privilege.
Everyone in this team has done an outstanding job, under an equally awesome direction. I want to thank the whole team, but especially the boys on the chase boats who gave us their constant and unwavering support on the water. They have been amazing.”
Jimmy Spithill, Helmsman
“Obviously it’s not the result that we wanted, we went out there today to try and win a race and to get ourselves back into the competition, but at the end of the day, Emirates Team New Zealand was simply too strong. It really did feel, at times, like we were taking a knife into a gun fight, we fought as hard as we could every day. We came out very proud of the team, I am very thankful for all the fans, our supporters, our family members, all the people back in Italy, the kiwis were simply too strong but I’m very, very proud of the team, and the dream isn’t over, I still believe that Italy can win the Americas’ Cup. I’ve got to say, this was definitely a change for me. I mean, in the previous campaigns I had been 10 years with the same team and coming into the Italian team I was really the only non-Italian on the sailing team and boy what an incredible culture and team of people: so passionate! The Italians and Sardinia in Cagliari embraced me and really it’s a big family. So I’m just so thankful to have been embraced into the culture and I really hope I get to do it again. I’ve enjoyed every single minute and it’s definitely been in my career one of the most best campaigns, because of the people."