Here is the dreamteam that will be on Luna Rossa: there is also Camboni

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Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team in training with the AC 40 in Barcelona.

As the America’s Cup gets into full swing, we tell you who will be aboard Luna Rossa. A few confirmations, many surprises.

The America’s Cup 2023 Preliminary Regattas are getting closer, with the first leg scheduled to take place in Spain, in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Catalonia), Sept. 14-17. These races and the subsequent races in Jeddah, Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, will be run in AC 40s, the same boats designated for the Youth and Women America’s Cup, parallel events to the America’s Cup reserved for under-25 and women’s crews.

Who are the men of Luna Rossa

With less than 50 days to go before the first official regattas, what crew will Luna Rossa show up with at the Vilanova event? A distinction must first be made; on the AC 40s, 4 people race and there are no grinders; on the AC 75s with which the future America’s Cup will be raced, 8 people go and there will be cycling grinders.

The Luna Rossa “roster” we will see on the water in Barcelona will therefore be partial, but it is possible to sketch a general picture of what are the key men who make up the crew to date.

Luna Rossa Crew – Mattia Camboni is also on it.

Mattia Camboni, second from left, trains as a cyclor alongside Emanuele Liuzzi.

European champion in the RS:X board, World runner-up, two Olympics behind him, one of which, the Tokyo Olympics, ended one step away from the podium with a painful OCS in the Medal Race, Mattia Camboni is one of the latest newcomers to Luna Rossa. After switching to the new Olympic iQFoil board, the Civitavecchia native initially failed to achieve the same level of results he had in RS:X, while at the same time Nicolò Renna exploded in the same class.

Joining Luna Rossa, where he is expected to be in the battery of cycling grinders, opens up new scenarios for Camboni to continue his career at a high level, albeit at the moment in perhaps the least “sailing” role of the crew and putting his Olympic career on hold. We will not see him on the water in Barcelona, because on the AC 40s there are no grinders, but it is very likely that an athlete with Camboni’s grit and determination could find a place on the AC 75. The competition will be tough, because in the grinders’ battery he will find rowers Emanuele Liuzzi, Bruno Rosetti, Luca Kirwan and cross-country skier Davide Cannata, among others. Cannata and Liuzzi are in their second campaign.

Luna Rossa crew – The safe trimmers

On two names there is not much doubt, Umberto Molineris and Andrea Tesei. Official training reports, both on the prototype and the AC 40, almost always give them among the starters. Already launched in the last America’s Cup in Auckland, they are among those confirmed. In all likelihood they will be the two starting trimmers for the first leg of the preliminary races in Barcelona, and also from the perspective of the AC 75 they are among those we will see most in the boat. Also watch out for Vittorio Bissaro, the Blue Nacrista (running for a spot in the next Olympics with Maelle Frascari) is disengaged from any involvement at the helm, and in recent months has been alternating with others in the role of trimmer or flight controller. It is not certain that he will be among the “starters” at Vilanova, partly because of his commitment to Nacra, but on the AC 75 he is likely to be in the game, to be seen precisely in what role, between flight controller and mainsail trimmer or headsail.

Crew of Luna Rossa – The Helmsmen

From left to right: Marco Gradoni, Ruggero Tita, Francesco Bruni, on the Amerigo Vespucci in Cagliari.

Francesco Bruni, James Spithill, Ruggero Tita and Marco Gradoni, these are the helmsmen to date on Luna Rossa’s staff. Gradoni is expected to helm the AC 40 in the Youth America’s Cup, but it is not ruled out that he could also make a debut with the “big boys” during the preliminary races as early as Vilanova.

For the other three it will be open competition, with one factor to consider: Ruggero Tita is the reigning Olympic gold medalist, paired with Caterina Banti, in the Nacra 17, and at the moment it seems implausible that she would want to forgo defending the medal, net of an internal selection within the blue team all to be decided. The Olympics will be from July 26 to Aug. 11, 2024, the opening ceremony of the America’s Cup 2023 is scheduled for Aug. 22 in Barcelona, and the first challenger selection races will follow: a very tight schedule to compete at the top on two fronts. If Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti, as is plausible, remain in the running for Nacra 17 selection, an important part of the work in the months leading up to the Olympics will likely have to be devoted to the catamaran.

Scenario therefore still to be defined, with Bruni and Spithill still remaining quite “solid,” and especially the Sicilian has been employed often at the helm during the months of training in Cagliari, according to official Recon reports.

Luna Rossa crew – Young men and women

On the Young and Women front, the hierarchies are still evolving partly because the AC 40 for training arrived late, only in late spring. However, some names, besides Gradoni’s, we can give them pretty sure, starting with Guido Gallinaro, the Laser youth world champion, and Federico Colaninno, a talented finnist who is very active in the one-design world. The roster could also include the names of the nacristi Stefano Dezu, Margherita Porro and Maria Giubilei, the last two in the Women crew with 470ist Alessandra Dubbini. They are not the only names Luna Rossa has tested to form the other two crews, also the talented ILCA (Laser) Mattia Cesana ended up on the agenda of coach Francesco Marrai, who oversaw the selection program.

Mauro Giuffrè

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