America’s Cup: AC 40s arrive, Luna Rossa’s will also be on the water soon

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The teams’ preparation for the 2024 America’s Cup continues unabated, with the unions now in full training. Luna Rossa is the only challenger who has not yet received the AC 40, but the wait seems to be over and should be a matter of days. There seems to have been some tension on this issue between Luna Rossa and the Defender, with the Italians complaining, complete with an official request to the Arbitration Panel, that they had been bypassed by the other teams, American Magic in particular, in delivering the hull. It would appear, however, that in the Protocol’s meshes the possibility exists for teams to “swap” constructive slots of the 40, and this may explain the Italian team’s delay with the Americans who would have received one of the slots originally intended for the defender.

American Magic’s AC 40 in training in Pensacola, Florida.
©Paul Todd/AMERICA’S CUP

It is precisely the new AC 40s that are the stars of these weeks, with the defender Team New Zealand now training steadily with two boats and the other unions receiving their first hulls.

AC 40 – The perfect boat?

Emirates Team New Zealand in training with the two AC 40s, one in One Design and the other modified. Recon Photographer / America’s Cup

The new AC 40s as they are known will be used for the Woman and Youth America’s Cup, but these weeks they are also available for the core teams to modify and use in training. For official regattas, however, they must be reported in a strictly One Design version.

Alinghi’s AC 40. Recon Photographer / America’s Cup

One thing is certain, however, these AC 40s seem like a definitely apt boat: teams from the first outing manage to lead them on foils without difficulty, tacking and gybing even with little wind, showing decidedly impressive maneuvering skills and speed peaks not far from the first generation AC 75.

The AC 40 Ineos in training in Palma de Mallorca. Recon Photographer / America’s Cup

They will not be the official boats in which the 2024 America’s Cup will be run, which will still be with AC 75s, but they promise to put on a show in the women’s and youth races, hinting at great versatility for both match racing and fleet racing.

America’s Cup. Luna Rossa on the prototype in anticipation of the AC 40

america's cup luna rossa
The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team prototype. Recon Photographer / America’s Cup

Reports of Luna Rossa’s outings on the 12-meter prototype are definitely positive, certainly better than those of Ineos, which sailed its own prototype before launching the AC 40. Luna Rossa has shown impressive control in recent weeks in all the conditions in which it has been seen at sea, with the helms entrusted in recent days to Ruggero Tita and James Spithill, as well as Francesco Bruni, and Vittorio Bissaro often seen in the role of flight controller.

With the arrival of the AC 40 we will presumably see the Italian team run two-boat tests, which are crucial to fine-tune possible solutions to be reproduced later on future AC 75s. Some shadows remain regarding Luna Rossa’s design team: no official announcement of new names has been made since the exits of Martin Fisher and Mario Caponnetto. The latter still appears at this time on the
Luna Rossa’s official design team web page
, and simultaneously in that of
American Magic,
but has long been known to have moved to the New York Yacht Club syndicate. Same for Davide Tagliapietra. In short, Luna Rossa keeps, as has often been the case in the past, the lights off in communication as well, especially with regard to the design department, which, however, will be asked in the run-up to the next America’s Cup to do what it failed to do in the last one: make a winning boat to play it all the way.

Mauro Giuffrè

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