Prada's Luna Rossa

MILAN — Prada Luna Rossa’s operating arm COR 36 (Challenger of Record) on Friday announced the “impossibility of organizing the ACWS Sardinia” sailing races in Cagliari, scheduled for April 23 to 26 in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which two days earlier the World Health Organization defined a pandemic, and the restrictions imposed by different governments, including Italy’s. The races are the first series of preliminary regattas of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, the America’s Cup World Series.

COR 36 said in a statement that it had submitted a proposal to the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, to postpone the event to a new date, but that the latter published a statement announcing the cancellation of the ACWS Sardinia races “without mentioning COR’s proposal of a new date for the event, and refused COR’s proposal without even discussing it. COR 36 will submit to the Arbitration Panel the postponement of the ACWS Sardinia-Cagliari to a new date.”

This is the sixth America’s Cup for Prada’s chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli, a passionate sailor, who owns Luna Rossa and is president of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team.

The new Luna Rossa sailing boat was unveiled and christened in October in Cagliari and will represent Italy and the Sicilian Sailing Circle at the America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in the history of sports and the most prestigious in the sailing world.

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 — as the challenger series was then called — 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.

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