Between surprises and confirmations, here are Luna Rossa’s Young and Women crews


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Luna Rossa crews
The youth and women of Luna Rossa

After a long wait Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has unveiled the names of the male and female sailors who will participate in theAmerica’s Cup Young and Women with the AC 40s. There are several confirmations and names that had been circulating for some time, but there was no shortage of surprises in the names of those excluded.

As for the women’s crew (which, as for the youth, will be selected on a daily basis on race days), the sailors summoned are: Giulia Conti (coxswain), Margherita Porro (coxswain), Maria Vittoria Marchesini (coxswain), Giovanna Micol (trimmer), Maria Giubilei (trimmer), Giulia Fava (trimmer) and Alice Linussi(trimmer).

The youth team, which is still subject to change and possible additions, includes Guido Gallinaro(coxswain), Gianluigi Ugolini (coxswain), Federico Colaninno (trimmer), Stefano Dezulian (trimmer) and Rocco Falcone (cox/trimmer). Marco Gradoni (coxswain) also, who is already a member of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team, was summoned to the Under 25 crew.

Luna Rossa Women

It immediately stands out that the women’s crew includes again the Giulia Conti – Giovanna Micol pair, who have had several important seasons together in 470, with three world medals (two bronze and one silver) and two fifth places at the Olympics. To the two of them Max Sirena has entrusted the experienced leadership of the group, with two veterans of international sailing to work alongside younger but still high-profile female sailors. Maria Giubilei is now one of the top sailors in the Nacra 17 class, Linussi and Marchesini two talented profiles who have distinguished themselves well at the youth level between 420 and 470. Margherita Porro, between Nacra and Moth, is a flying boat specialist and her skills will come in handy on the AC 40.

Among the women, however, one cannot help but notice the absence of Caterina Banti and Maelle Frascari, perhaps the two strongest Nacra 17 bowwomen in Italy and internationally, with Banti the reigning Olympic gold medalist. Personal choice of female sailors, incompatibilities, different personal agendas, or purely technical choice on the part of Max Sirena and the Young and Women project selectors? It is hard to say, but the two absences are significant, net of a crew that is nonetheless high profile.

In the women’s America’s Cup, Giulia conti will also find
Francesca Clapcich
, a world gold medalist together in 49er FX, but this time as an opponent since the Trieste-born will be in the ranks of American Magic.

The possible starting crew of women on the AC 40 could be as follows: Giulia Conti and Margherita Porro at the helm, Giovanna Micol and Maria Giubilei as trimmers, with Linussi and Marchesini inserted in possible rotations.

Luna Rossa Young

The Under 25 youth are a mix of freshness and experience. Although they are anagrammatically immature, several of them have already tasted the stages of international regattas, such as Gianluigi Ugolini (paired with Maria Giubilei on the Nacra 17) or Federico Colaninno, a talented finnist who has been very active in one-design classes, including foils such as the 69F, for several years.

Dezulian is Margherita Porro’s partner on the Nacra 17 and has good experience in foil boats, Gallinaro was one of the great promises of the Italian Laser and then ranged between Star, One-design and foil classes; just as a multi-disciplinary sailor is also Rocco Falcone, Shannon’s brother, with a sailing background that comes from different classes. The group will then be completed by Marco Gradoni, now also integrated into Luna Rossa’s senior crew and a possible helmsman for the future of the Italian team.

Among the names that participated in the selections for Luna Rossa’s youth crew is the absence of Mattia Cesana, three ILCA Laser youth world championships won, who seemed one of the most likely candidates to be part of the group. Evident that it was not only the technical level of the individual that counted, however, but the dynamics as a crew that were evaluated during the tests in Cagliari and some racing sessions with the 69Fs.

The next America’s Cup is scheduled in Barcelona from August 22 to October 21, from September 10 to 26 at the same time there will be the Youth America’s Cup, and from September 28 to October 13 the Women’s.

Mauro Giuffrè



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