Luna Rossa VS Team New Zealand, similarities and differences in design. Who will be the fastest?


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Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand in comparison

The new Luna Rossa as was to be expected has become the trend of the moment in the Italian sailing world and among racing and America’s Cup enthusiasts, with the return of the livery of the first Silver Bullet and a boat that at first glance makes a certain aesthetic impression. Beauty, however, is known to be a very relative factor in the Cup, where we have already seen boats win that were not beautiful at all (see in so many cases the boats of the New Zealanders), but were simply more effective and faster.

What we think is more interesting is therefore to go and see what work the Italian design team has done to make this Luna Rossa more competitive than her “sister” was in the 2021 America’s Cup in Auckland. Let’s compare the two hulls, and see what evolution there has been, and compare it with the choices made on the AC 75 of Defender Team New Zealand.

Luna Rossa – The “slimming” treatment of the new AC 75

The new AC 75 Luna Rossa
The AC 75 with which Luna Rossa was defeated 7-3 in the 2021 America’s Cup in Auckland

We start from these two photos to examine a detail that we believe is crucial, namely the shapes of the hull, which As we saw in our in-depth will be critical not only from an aerodynamic point of view but also for the help they can give to the foils by generating lift with the hull.

The old Luna Rossa had a shape that could be described as more V-shaped, with a less pronounced flat part of the hull. In contrast, this very flat part is distinctly present on the new AC 75, and will serve to recreate an air cushion between boat and water that will allow the use of fine, elongated, flat immersed appendages that generate reduced hydrodynamic drag. Which the old Luna Rossa was unable to do due to low load-bearing hull shapes. In general, on the new Luna we can see the intention to reduce the overall surface area of the hull, thus making the whole thing more aerodynamic.

Where there seems to be some continuity, however, is in the long central keel, sharp and pronounced in both versions, even more “thrust” in the new boat.

Luna Rossa AC 75 – Similarities and differences with the defender

The flat component in the new Team New Zealand is even more exaggerated, with an almost tunnel-like hint especially in the forward shapes just aft of the bow, where Team New Zealand shows a very aggressive approach.
Red Moon has compared to kiwis less hollow shapes. In the bow area there seems to be in the New Zealand boat a greater search for lift given by the hull, in the Italian boat the maximum aerodynamic profile.

Watch out for flat shapes, which could be an important key to the performance of future AC 75s. Defender Team New Zealand from this point of view took a very aggressive approach, going for a hull with flared volumes just aft of the bow more exaggerated than the new Italian boat.

The defender Team New Zealand with the new AC 75 under sail.
Red Moon’s keel, deep and sharp. Unlike the defender the Italian one at the stern ends squared off, probably because it houses the rudder tilt adjustment system.

Are Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa two AC 75s in the same family? According to official team statements made in Cagliari during the launch yes, it was Patrizio Bertelli himself who supported it. Certainly there are similarities between the two boats, but Luna Rossa appears to be more oriented toward a reduction in aerodynamic surface area, with a very fine bow and less flared surface area than the Kiwis, who instead seem to be going back to looking a lot for hull lift as already seen with the old Te Rehutai, of which this new generation of AC 75 is a daughter.

The slim bow of the Italian boat

Who will have made the winning choice? Luna Rossa is an unquestionably beautiful object, with a significantly more advanced design than the previous hull. Will it be enough? It is still early to find out, but there is a lot of curiosity to see the Italian boat sail. And by the way, watch out for the Kiwis because they have been sailing for several days already since launch day, and there are murmurs of very interesting numbers from a speed perspective. We will tell you about it soon.

Mauro Giuffrè




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