[Source: Americas Cup] Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena says his team is happy with the progress it is making as it trains and develops at its base in Cagliari, Italy. The team has been conducting testing with its two foiling AC45s since September of last year as part of its design and sailing team development. After a much needed break over Christmas, the team resumed training in January, continuing its two-boat program.
“The luxury of doing two-boat testing is big in that you can validate the tools for the designers, you are training with the sailing team and at the same time you can try different things on the boats, from the systems to daggerboards, rudders, wings, everything,” Sirena says.
“So it’s an ongoing development process. Also having the team working together like this is important. It takes time to fine-tune all the relationships and this is also very productive.
“It helps being here in Cagliari with the team all based here so we can focus well. Cagliari is beautiful – it’s a great place to live for the families – and when we have a couple of days off, you see a lot of the guys going off surfing, kiting, it’s great.”
Sirena says the team is looking forward to opening the America’s Cup World Series on home waters in June as host of the first event of the new America’s Cup cycle.
“The fact that we will be racing at home makes it very important and of course it adds a little bit of pressure, but the good thing is that everyone starts at the same level, with the same amount of time on the new race boats,” he says.
“Our goal will be the same as everyone else – to beat the others, so it’s going to be hard. But I’m looking forward to everyone getting here early to do a little bit of training on the new race boats.”
He says the racing with foiling AC45s will be demanding on the sailors and exhilarating to watch for the spectators. In fact, he says the time he’s spend sailing on the foiling version of the AC45 that the team is training with is among the best sailing he’s done in his career.
“The foiling AC45s are super-fun, really exciting. It’s really hard to imagine going back to a displacement boat,” he says. “It’s so much faster and so much fun to sail with these foiling boats. You can see it with the Moths, with all the guys going into it. And you start to see the foiling everywhere now, Open 60s, powerboats, even Lasers! It’s an effect from the America’s Cup.”
Away from the concerns of developing Luna Rossa, Sirena has also had an influence on the larger development of the 2017 America’s Cup as the teams work collaboratively to support the event.
“Everyone has put a lot of effort in to try, as much as possible, to work together to create a great event,” he says. “I’m positively surprised that so far we have been able to talk fairly and put the good of the America’s Cup first.
“Of course there will be times when we are not all sharing the same opinion. But I think compared to the past we all agree we need to build this event and the only way to do that is to work together. I expect that sooner or later this will get more difficult – that’s part of the sport – but as long as the goal for everyone is to put on a great event, we’re going to be fine.”
Luna Rossa will host the first America’s Cup World Series event of 2015 from June 4-7 from its home in Cagliari, Sardinia.