Luna Rossa TP52 Christening Event.

MILAN – Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli christened the new Luna Rossa Challenge boat on Sunday in Italy’s Trieste.

The boat, named TP52, will set sail on May 23 in Sibenik, Croatia, where the Luna Rossa team will make its debut at the 52 Super Series’ first regatta. The following four regattas will be held in Zadar, Croatia; Cascais, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia, Spain in the period spanning May to September.

The event unveiled the Luna Rossa Challenge team, which includes skipper and team director Max Sirena and helmsmen Francesco Bruni and Davide Cannata, a 24-year-old yachtsman who was selected through the “New Generation” scouting program, which is aimed at promoting sailing culture among young people. To this end, Luna Rossa has organized teaching sessions in different schools in Trieste.

The new boat will not take part in the America’s Cup 36th edition. For the international competition, the sailing team will employ the AC75 catamaran, which is still under development and is expected to be inaugurated after March 31, 2019.

As reported, this is a return to the sea for Luna Rossa, which announced last June that it would take part in the 2021 edition of the America’s Cup. The 36th edition of the cup will be the sixth challenge, but fifth race for Luna Rossa, as the team in 2015 withdrew from the competition in disagreement over the overturning of rules unanimously adopted throughout the previous year by the Oracle Team, owned by Larry Ellison. Team New Zealand swept the Oracle team in the 2017 America’s Cup and is now its holder.

Last January Prada SpA announced its 65 million euro sponsorship of the Luna Rossa sailing team. The total sum will be paid in quarterly installments over the period from January 2018 to June 2021.

The Luna Rossa team was established in 1997 by Bertelli with the original name of “Prada Challenge for the America’s Cup 2000.” The team won the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000, with a record of 38 victories over 49 races. It also competed in 2003 and in 2007, when it reached the Louis Vuitton Cup final.

Luna Rossa is now 100 percent privately owned by Bertelli.

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