Max Sirena, the story of the man on the moon who made kiwis fall in love


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to the print + digital Journal of Sailing and for only 69 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

In 2013 the Sailor of the Year was Max Sirena, the skipper of Luna Rossa at the 34th America’s Cup. After the Prada team was disbanded because Patrizio Bertelli decided to call it quits on the turn the 35th America’s Cup had taken, Sirena was hired by the New Zealanders, as a manager with technical and sporting expertise.New Zealand regained the Cup, and Sirena, as promised, returned to base, demonstrating his attachment to the magliam and Luna Rossa.

Taken from The Journal of Sailing April 2013. Max Sirena, the skipper of Luna Rossa, the 34th America’s Cup challenger, is the 2013 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year. It was decided by the “popular jury” of Il Giornale della Vela readers, who indicated their preference on a shortlist of 12 candidates through online voting at

Despite the great popularity Max Sirena has enjoyed since he took over as head of Italy’s most famous and beloved crew, however, his victory was not certain until voting closed. In fact, the always knowledgeable and passionate sailing public showed great interest in Alberto Bona, the “boy next door” with the dream of great solo sailing. In a list of candidates that included “biggies” such as Giovanni Soldini (fresh from the media adventure of the New York-San Francisco record) and Alessandro Di Benedetto (who had recently finished the round-the-world solo nonstop race) the head-to-head for the 2013 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year was surprisingly between the famous Max Sirena and the “unknown” Alberto Bona, then closed in favor of the former who collected 23.13 percent of the votes against 21.86 percent for his antagonist.

Max Sirena thus wins the 2013 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year. The “fable” of the sailor from Rimini appeals to the general public because it is real proof that anything can happen in sailing. Sirena has been with Luna Rossa since day one, from that late summer of 1997, when hulls bought by America3 for training arrived in Punta Ala from the United States. With the team founded by Patrizio Bertelli, Sirena participated in the fantastic 1999-2000 America’s Cup campaign in New Zealand, the one that won the Louis Vuitton Cup (and, alas, the painful 5-0 loss to Team New Zealand), followed by those of 2003 (to be forgotten) and 2007, in Valencia, where Luna Rossa eliminated in the challengers’ semifinal the favored BMW Oracle Racing (only to, alas once again, lose the Louis Vuitton Cup final 5-0, again to the New Zealanders). Sirena is proof that defeat (always cashed in with honor and respect from opponents) tempers character and makes one stronger because it fuels the hunger for victory. In his first three campaigns with Luna Rossa he was a bowman, today he is the skipper, the captain, the leader; respected by the entire crew who saw him (and still see him) toil and suffer. Sirena also won an America’s Cup, his 33rd, in 2010, as manager of the wing mast of the BMW Oracle Racing trimaran in the challenge against Alinghi. But it is clear that he is not fulfilled; he wants to win the America’s Cup in Luna Rossa’s colors, because he is the skipper, but first and foremost he is the first supporter of Italy’s most famous and beloved crew.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out the latest issue

Are you already a subscriber?

Ultimi annunci
Our social

Sign up for our Newsletter

We give you a gift

Sailing, its stories, all boats, accessories. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the Sailing Newspaper editorial staff each week. Plus we give you one month of GdV digitally on PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button. You will receive a code to activate your month of GdV for free!

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.


Sign in