Friday, August 9, 2013

Luna Rossa Just One Win Away From Louis Vuitton Cup Final

Luna Rossa Challenge Skipper Max Sirena has been saying for the past six weeks that his team always planned to use the Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robin to develop their crew work and increase their performance potential. Luna Rossa entered the competition late, almost a year after the two other challengers, and has been playing catch up since.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Today the Italian team sailed their most complete race and now leads Artemis Racing 3-0 in the Semi Final round of the America’s Cup Challenger Series. Luna Rossa needs just one more win to advance to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final and a match with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper took the action to his Artemis Racing counterpart Nathan Outteridge in the pre-start. Draper used his starboard-tack advantage to take up a position close to leeward of Outteridge and force him to tack away in a downspeed maneuver to get separation.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Draper clearly won the start, crossing onto the racecourse nine seconds ahead of Artemis Racing. Luna Rossa led by 11 seconds at the first reach mark and then steadily increased their lead around the 15.53-nautical-mile course to win by one minute, 18 seconds.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“Today was a great start. Chris really showed what he’s able to do. After the start we sailed probably our best race on the water as a team, which is good because tomorrow’s going to be tough. Aretmis Racing is getting quicker and quicker every day and it’s not finished yet. We need to keep focused and race well tomorrow,” Sirena said.
Photo: © ACEA/ Photo Abner Kingman
As impressive as Luna Rossa was, Artemis Racing also raised its game. In the span of one day the team found a way to reduce its deficit to the Italians by one minute. But the Swedish team is simply running out of time to figure out the intricacies of racing the AC72.
Photo: © ACEA/ Photo Abner Kingman
“We upped our game hugely today, but the bad news for Artemis Racing was so did Luna Rossa. They sailed excellently from start to finish. Now it’s sudden death tomorrow and we like that, we look forward to that pressure.” said Artemis Racing skipper Iain Percy.
Photo: © ACEA/ Photo Abner Kingman
Artemis Racing sailed today with a new daggerboard in the port hull. Percy said that the board coupled with new winglets on the rudders helped the team get foiling.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“The winglets seem to give it a little more lift when the rudders are being worked hard in the gybes, and seem to have made it a little easier pulling off the foiling gybes,”Percy said.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Luna Rossa pulled off some fantastic gybes today as well, looking steady through the maneuvers without their hulls touching the water. Above the water, the Italian team is still using Wing 1. It was hoping to step Wing 2 tonight for tomorrow’s potential series-clinching race.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“I’m really proud of how we sailed today. That’s how we want to do it. I think Artemis Racing has improved a lot. We know Artemis Racing is going to keep getting better, there’s too much talent in that camp, but we sailed a good race and I’m proud of that,” said Luna Rossa’s Draper.
Photo: © ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Race 4 of the Semi Final round is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:15 pm PT.

Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final Standings (best-of-seven series)
Luna Rossa Challenge – 3
Artemis Racing – 0

Race Performance Data
  • Course: Seven legs
  • Course length: 15.53 nautical miles
  • Elapsed time: LR – 47:36; ART – 48:54
  • Delta: Luna Rossa +1:18
  • Total distance sailed: LR – 19.6 NM; ART – 19.5 NM
  • Average speed: LR – 24.7 knots (28 mph); ART – 24.0 knots (27 mph)
  • Top speed: LR – 39.71 knots (46 mph); ART – 37.25 knots (43 mph)
  • Wind speed: average 15.2 knots; peak gust 17.6 knots
America's Cup Media

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