ABOUT LUNA ROSSA
The Luna Rossa team was born one evening in February 1997 near the Duomo of Milan when the entrepreneur Patrizio Bertelli and the Argentinian yacht designer German Frers met to discuss the construction of a cruise chip. Unexpectedly, German Frers exclaimed: “Why don’t we enter the America’s Cup? Let’s enter the America’s Cup!”
15 days later, out of nothing, a new challenger had entered the fray that would long remain in the memory of Italians and sailing fans worldwide.
The Luna Rossa team was born.
Exactly three years later, in February 2000, Luna Rossa won the Louis Vuitton Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, qualifying for the final race against Black Magic.
It was the first time an Italian skipper, Francesco de Angelis, had participated in the final stage of the America’s Cup, and it was also the first time there was no American boat competing in this stage.
The cup was retained by the New Zealanders, but Luna Rossa went home having set a new record: 38 victories out of the 49 preliminary races they participated in.
In January 2001, Patrizio Bertelli decided to continue the Luna Rossa adventure and challenged the defending New Zealand team again in Auckland. Two boats, ITA 74 and ITA 80, launched from Punta Ala the following year, but didn’t get the result they wanted in the preliminary regattas.
Luna Rossa got as far as the semi-finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, eventually losing to an up-and-coming Swiss team that would go on to win the America’s Cup: Alinghi.
After more than a century, the Cup returned to Europe once again. Luna Rossa defeated the American Oracle team in the semi-finals, in great part thanks to the performance of a very young James Spithill. Luna Rossa reached the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup, consisting of five hard-fought races from which Emirates Team New Zealand emerged victorious.
2013 SAN FRANCISCO
The Louis Vuitton Cup kicked off in the San Francisco bay, featuring the giant AC72 flying catamarans. For the third time in four appearances, Luna Rossa qualified for the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup. However, it was the Americans with Oracle who would go on to beat the New Zealand team with a legendary comeback in the deciding race.
In April 2015, after launching its fifth challenge for the America’s Cup, the Luna Rossa team decided to withdraw from the competition following changes in the Class Rule that had already been approved by all participants from the 35th America’s Cup, imposed unilaterally by the Defender by means of an unprecedented procedure.
Luna Rossa launched its sixth challenge as Challenger of Record.
Circolo della Vela Sicilia was the first Yacht Club to challenge the Defender, ETNZ, for the 2021 contest. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli was the Challenger of Record and won the PRADA Cup.
LOOKING TOWARDS BARCELONA 2024
Representing Circolo della Vela Sicilia, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will launch its sixth challenge for the America’s Cup at Barcelona during August and September 2024.
THE LUNA ROSSA PRADA PIRELLI TEAM
The 35-person beating heart of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team.
Working both in the water and on land, the shore team is ready to take action at a moment’s notice. This team starts their work when the boat returns to land and finishes the next day, when the boat returns to the water again. Working inside tents and shipping containers, the team develops new parts and repairs daily damage. The team is divided into several units: composite and carbon manufacturing, hydraulics, electronics, riggers, sailmakers, mechanical workshop, deck equipment and painting. The team is responsible for the maintenance of the boat and builds custom-made small-to-medium-sized parts that connect the boat’s standard features with its more specific components.
This 37-member team is by far the largest and is divided into 5 units: naval architecture, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering and aero and hydrodynamic engineering.
As well as designing the hulls, sails and all the custom design components, the team analyses the data from the simulator and from the computers connected to the hull during sea training. In coordination with the Sailing team and the Shore team, they work every day to design solutions that increase the boat’s performance.
11 team members will be competing on board the AC75: helmsman, mainsail trimmer, foil trimmer and the grinders. The team, with veterans and New Generation members, is composed of 21 men, included the coach. At sea they train with different types of boats, on ground they train on the simulator and in the gym. In addition to their specific boat roles, members have a specific role in coordination with the Shore team or the Design team to improve the performance of the boat.
Women’s Team and New Generation
With the introduction of the Youth America’s Cup and the Women’s America’s Cup during the 37th edition of the competition, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli are now able to enter their many young talents into competition, having trained them for years through the ‘New Generation’ programme. These talents include women and girls who’ve excelled during the team's Cagliari training camps, designed for the most promising Italian sailors, and who’ve demonstrated their ability on foiling boats at international sailing camps.
Team Director & Skipper
Operations Manager & Mechatronics Coordinator
Boat Captain & Shore Team Manager
Philippe Francois Pierre Presti
Jacopo Plazzi Marzotto
Hamish Dennitts Willcox
On-Water Fleet & Safety Manager
Francesco Mario Mongelli
Sailor, Cyclor & AC40 Captain
Nicholas Brezzi Villi
Sailor & Cyclor
Stefano De Pirro
Physical Trainer & Physiotherapist