Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Luna Rossa Challenge Adds More Red Hot Talent

A pair of Olympic Gold medalists, a recent Volvo Ocean Race sailor and two young talented America's Cup sailors have joined the crew of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013, challenger to the 34th America's Cup.

Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
Joining the crew of the four time Italian America's Cup Challenger are: Simone de Mari (foredeck / grinder), Iker Martinez de Lizarduy (helmsman / afterguard), Xabier Fernández Gaztañaga (trimmer / foredeck), Marco Montis (grinder) and Wade Morgan (grinder / foredeck). 
Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
Simone de Mari: Foredeck / Grinder

Born in Rome in 1973, he began to racing on offshore boats and J 24s, participating in major regattas in the Mediterranean and later in the international match racing circuits. He debuted in the America's Cup with Luna Rossa in 1997 and was one of the youngest members of the crew. Since then he has participated in all challenges of the team, winning the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000. In 2010 he won the America's Cup aboard BMW Oracle Racing, as pitman.

Xabier Fernández Gaztañaga: Trimmer / Foredeck

Spanish, was born in Ibarra in 1976. His sailing career started in the Vaurien class where he won two national championships before moving to 49ers where he developed and expressed his athletic talent in trimming fast boats. Xabier’s career developed alongside Iker Martinez for whom he has crewed since 1998. Together with him he won two Olympic medals (gold in 2004 and silver in 2008) and three World Championships (2002, 2004 and 2010). Fernández is a truly complete sailor; he has participated in three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race (2005-2009-2012) and in the Barcelona World Race in which he finished second. With a degree in engineering, Xabier is the Spanish sailor to have won most trophies. This is his first America’s Cup campaign.

Iker Martinez de Lizarduy: Helmsman/Afterguard

Born in San Sebastián, Spain, in 1977, Iker, together with his crew Xabier Fernández, has already won two Olympic medals (gold in 2004 and silver in 2008) and three World Championships (2002, 2004 and 2010) in the 49er class. He is one of top winners amongst the Spanish sailors. Iker is considered one of today’s most talented helmsmen: versatile and complete, he is at ease in all conditions and on all type of boats, from the athletic and acrobatic Olympic classes to the offshore Volvo Ocean Racers. Further to his record of victories in the 49er class he has also collected important results in ocean racing, with a third place in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race, a second place in the 2010 Barcelona World Race and 4th in the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race. This is his first America’s Cup campaign.

Marco Montis: Grinder / Diver

Born in Livorno in 1971, Marco is a martial arts and weightlifting training instructor. His introduction to yacht racing happened by chance when, in 1994, he was invited to be a grinder on board Tomahawk, a 12 metre class he sailed with for three seasons on the classic yacht circuit. His sailing career continued on offshore and Maxi yachts. His first America’s Cup campaign was in 2007 and he subsequently sailed the 2009 (STP 65 and Louis Vuitton Pacific Series) and 2010 (TP 52 and Louis Vuitton Trophy at La Maddalena) racing seasons with Luna Rossa.

Wade Morgan: Grinder / Foredeck

Australian, born in 1981, he began his career as a professional sailor in 1999, making his debut in the America’s Cup iat only 18 as a member of the Young Australia team (2000). He later worked with the Alfa Romeo team and became the project manager of Alfa Romeo 3. He has participated in all major offshore races obtaining, among others, three victories - two of them with line honours'– in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race. In 2007 he participated again in an America’s Cup campaign with the team "Areva" and also participated in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race as bowman of the Abu Dhabi Team. He was  a member of Luna Rossa crew in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland and in the Louis Vuitton Trophy at La Maddalena.

Luna Rossa Challenge Media

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