3 out of 4 ain’t bad

Luna Rossa’s AC72 hits US waters for the first time, and San Fran SA’er “Monster Mash” was good enough to get the shot.  With ETNZ a few weeks away from the dock, we’ve almost got an AC full house in San Francisco. Well, maybe more of a busted flush…

Meanwhile, Luna Rossa boss Max Sirena just won Italy’s Sailor of the Year, and one intrepid SA’er – ‘ITA289’ – was good enough to provide a translation of a recent Italian interview with Max.  Check it, and all Italy’s fans should keep up with the monster Luna Rossa thread for the latest. Here are the words:

“As a skipper for Luna Rossa I still learn more and more every day. Few days ago we had a team meeting at the end of our first 6 months sailing and told the guys “Thanks for all that I have learned from you. If you have anything to suggest it’s always welcome”.

“America’s Cup will be full of surprises, due to so many variables. Many take it for granted that Artemis is out of the game, but I expect they will make something good at some point, even if they have had some issues.

I think that those that will be in LVC final will have good chances to win the AC, even if Oracle reacted very well after the major accident they had and will be hyper-competitive.

 Q: What is the impact of “fear” on this AC?

A: Much more than people expect. These boats are very fun up to 18kts but beyond that it’s a different type of sailing and it’s dangerous. Especially when bearing away at low speed it’s very easy to “get the bows under” and then you can only hope they come back up. It’s happened to us a couple of times. I would not be surprised to see another boat capsize.

Q: How much ahead of LR is TNZ?

A: They are clearly ahead because they are already using their second boat so in terms of tools, package, etc. they are ahead. We have planned our campaign differently because we started almost 1 year and a half later, so our major upgrade will be in June. We expect to feel the gap in performance then.

Our strength of LR is definitely the team. I was worried about that in the beginning because I had so little time to set up a team, but they all came with the right attitude. Take Mike Schreiber who has won 4 America’s Cups and he’s the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave in the evening. Sometimes I stop to listen when he talks to younger guys and he is hyper-motivated. That’s good for them.

Q: You know RC very well and he made some important choices for this AC… Has he gone somehow too far this time?

A: Yes, very much so. And lately he has somehow admitted it himself. All that was initially advertised on lower budgets, the financial aspects, 20 teams and so on… It’s just the opposite. Boats are extremely expensive. Just think that it takes 40 people to launch a boat. Last week TNZ also had a problem… When you have to manage this sort of issues even before having the boat in the water it means there is something basically wrong or at least premature.  But this is what we have and we must adapt. I am afraid there will be some more boats upside down (hopefully not LR…)”