18/12/20 - Auckland (NZL)36th America’s Cup presented by PradaRace Day 2Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team

LUNA ROSSA WINS: Winning two races against NYYC American Magic, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has gained access to the Prada Cup finals, when it will face team Ineos U.K., the undefeated winner in the round robins.

Both regattas of the day took place on Jan. 29 in the northern area of Auckland facing the Takapuna shore.

“It was a great day. We reached our first goal which was to go to the final of the Prada Cup,” said Max Sirena, Luna Rossa’s skipper and team director. “The boys sailed the boat very well, just as we had planned in our pre-race tactics. In both starts they did a good job in controlling their opponent. Conditions were not easy, the wind was very gusty and it was difficult to keep control on the downwind. What makes us very happy is the performance of the boat and the on-board communication; both have been improving a lot. This is only the first step; from tomorrow we are back on focus towards the final and it will be tough. So heads down and concentration up.”

According to the Prada Cup daily report, the Italian team started accumulating a lead that increased throughout the race, “with increasing gaps from the Americans at each gate ranging from 20 to 40 seconds. The first race closes with Luna Rossa crossing the finish line 35 seconds in front of the Americans.”

In the second race, Luna Rossa sailed “flawlessly” showing “smooth boat handling.” Impacted by technical difficulties, the American boat was forced “to sail out of boundary and take on subsequent penalties. The gap between the two boats increases and the race closes at the end of the six legs with Luna Rossa taking the win with over two-and-a-half minutes.”

This is the fourth win in a row for Luna Rossa, which will be back on the water on Feb. 13 for the Prada Cup finals, scheduled to take place until Feb. 22.

The winner of the Prada Cup will be the official challenger against the defender, the Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup, from March 6 to 15.

The sailing races to determine the winner of the Prada Cup between Luna Rossa, American Magic and Ineos U.K. kicked off in Auckland on Jan. 15.

The Luna Rossa team was established in 1997 by Prada’s chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli, an avid sailor, and 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.