Photos © Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa
Weather: Partially cloudy, 16-18 knots wind from South West, flat sea, flood tide 1.5 knots
Race start: 13.15 local time
Luna Rossa wins the third race of the semifinals against Artemis Racing (from Luna Rossa)
On Friday Luna Rossa Challenge defeated Swedish team Artemis Racing for the third time in a row in the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals.
The Italian team entered the pre-start zone on port tack and immediately gained control, closing the door to Artemis Racing and crossing the starting line 8 seconds in front of the Swedish boat.
From that point onwards the Italian team took the lead of the race and rounded the reaching mark 11 seconds ahead. Luna Rossa progressively increased the gap on the downwind leg and showed a good speed and a better angle, rounding the gate 26 seconds ahead.
The Italian team started the first windward leg heading offshore and then tacked inshore in search of a less current zone.
Throughout the beat Luna Rossa increased her lead on Artemis Racing and rounded the windward gate with a 52-second advantage. The Italian team again sailed the second downwind leg in full foiling and increased her lead on the Swedish team to 1 minute and 9 seconds.
On the second windward Luna Rossa chose the inshore tack whereas Artemis Racing moved to the opposite side of the course. The tacks required to complete the leg did not modify the gap between the two boats and Luna Rossa again rounded the windward gate 1 minute and 12 seconds ahead.
During the last downwind leg Luna Rossa kept the lead of the race until the end and crossed the finish line 1 minute and 18 seconds in front of Artemis Racing, scoring the third point in the semifinals.
Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena declared: "We had a good start and a good race: we gained control right away in the pre start, closed the door, started ahead and then kept the lead for the entire race. Later this afternoon we will also test wing two in order to decide whether to use it tomorrow"
"Heroes of the day": Chris Draper and Checco Bruni for the great start and race the sailed today.
Luna Rossa completed the 15.53 -nautical mile course in 47 minutes, 36 seconds, maintaining an average speed of 24.7 knots and reaching a maximum speed of 39.71 knots. Artemis Racing held an average speed of 24.0 knots and reached a maximum speed of 37.25 knots.
Luna Rossa Challenge will race again against Artemis Racing tomorrow, Saturday August 9th, for the fourth match of the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals.
Luna Rossa crew: Max Sirena (skipper and pitman), Francesco Bruni (tactician), David Carr (pitman/grinder), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Giles Scott (primary grinder), Chris Draper (helmsman), Xabi Fernandez (wing trimmer), Nick Hutton (bowman), Lele Marino (wing grinder), Marco Montis (freestyler) and Wade Morgan (hydraulic grinder).
An improved performance (from Artemis Racing)
Today's third race of the Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Finals featured an improved Artemis Racing closing the gap to Luna Rossa Challenge. The Italians sailed their best race yet to take the point with a final delta of 1:18.
On Thursday, the team representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club spent the day working on its foiling gybes, a key to downwind performance. This training showed on the racecourse today. Downwind Artemis Racing was much closer in performance to the Italians, completing most of their gybes as foiling gybes, in comparison to race 1 and 2 where none were completed. Each non-foiling gybe can cost a team 6-10 seconds.
Also evident from race two on Wednesday, Artemis Racing's AC72 performs better in higher breeze. Although today's forecasted wind speed was to reach 19 knots, the racecourse only saw a maximum of 17 knots.
Race 3 got off to a great match racing start by the Italians when they grabbed the advantage in the pre start, positioning themselves on the leeward side and forcing the Swedes to slow to a near stop. Luna Rossa Challenge was first to the start line and around the first mark.
Although Artemis Racing did not win race 3, it's still a good day for the team as the learning curve is steep the gains to be had are large. The sailing team continues to improve their techniques and maneuvers with every minute that they are on the water.
Skipper Iain Percy was happy with the team's performance today. "We upped our game hugely today, but the bad news was so did Luna Rossa. It's sudden death now, but we like that pressure, it just adds to the fun. We need to win one tomorrow and four on the trot. I know everyone on our team will rise to the challenge and we look forward to it."
Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Finals race 4 will be held tomorrow August 10th at 13:15pst. Tune in to your local NBC network to watch the race live or watch on YouTube a few hours after racing.
Artemis Racing crew: Iain Percy (skipper/tactician), Nathan Outteridge (helmsman), Stu Bettany (pit), Andy Fethers (pit), Chris Brittle (grinder), Julien Cressant (grinder), Craig Monk (grinder), Sean Clarkson (grinder), Thierry Fouchier (jib trim), Iain Jensen (wing trim), Rodney Ardern (wing assist).