The video here below is a must-see. It has unbelievable footage from onboard the Luna Rossa AC72, minutes after the finish of Race 4 of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals. Helmsman Chris Draper comments on the disastrous start and admits his watch was “four seconds slow”!!!
There is no doubt whatsoever that Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC72 is much faster than Luna Rossa’s. The Italian boat being the first iteration of the kiwi design package, it is entirely understandable the second iteration would incorporate a great number of developments. Luna Rossa started one year later than Oracle Team, Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing and the only viable option was to buy a basic design package from somebody, since the Protocol allowed that. Patrizio Bertelli and Max Sirena chose to form an alliance with the New Zealanders, buy their design and train together in Auckland. That option had its obvious disadvantages but there wasn’t any other way Luna Rossa could even be remotely competitive in this America’s Cup cycle.
There isn’t any doubt whatsoever either that Emirates Team New Zealand’s sailors form one of the world’s most solid and closely-knit sailing teams with years and thousands of miles under their belt racing together in all conceivable types of high-end boats. Their maneuvers are nearing perfection and crew work is slick. Patrizio Bertelli and Max Sirena knew they had an uphill struggle ahead of them. Having a tough time against them is also entirely legitimate and excused.
However, it is stunning to see that such childish errors take place in an America’s Cup team, supposedly vying to win the sport’s most prestigious competition! Luna Rossa hasn’t won a single start in its races against Emirates Team New Zealand. Not only that, it appears from Draper’s own words that he had absolutely no clue what Francesco Bruni was calling during the prestart! I wonder what wing trimmer Xabi Fernandez was thinking in this short video!
Mr Bertelli, call Russell Coutts to give you some nice TAG Heuer watches or even Grant Dalton for some cool Omega time keeping instruments, go through the remaining three final races and then throw Chris Draper to the lions in Rome’s Colosseum!