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America's Cup: 'We could have had more teams with a less aggressive boat' - Bertelli

by Fabio Pozzo/La Stampa 5 Oct 23:18 BST 6 October 2019
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - launching AC75 - Cagliari, Sardinia - October 2, 2019 © Stefano Gattini

Patrizio Bertelli, the patron of the Italian challenge speaking after the launch of the AC75, repeats his line: "We could have had more teams with a less aggressive boat."

He also claims that the electronic system in the boat has added massively to it expense. And says that with a 60ft foiling monohull the America's Cup can return to the halcyon days of Valencia, in 2007, with more than 10 challengers.

Leading Italian America's Cup correspondent, Fabio Pozzo of La Stampa seems to have the ear of the fiery Italian fashion magnate, who is now on his sixth challenge for the America's Cup. As always, Pozzo managed to get Mr Bertelli talking in the colourful terms that are the essence of the America's Cup.

The new Luna Rossa has the elongated lines of a humpback whale, Pozzo writes, auto-translated from Italian.

A carbon black whale full of made in Italy technology (60 suppliers), designed by 37, built by the most hi-tech airports in Italy (Persico), cost 78 thousand hours spent by 90 people. It was launched in Cagliari by Miuccia Prada, godmother for the ninth time in the history of the team, who even wounded her hand with a shard of glass, so much the enthusiasm she put in breaking the bottle on the bow. Her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, launched his sixth challenge to the America's Cup, which will be held in Auckland in New Zealand in 2021 with these futuristic boats. Never has anyone like him, since 1851, stuck like this.

Why black moon?

"It's the color of carbon, red or silver paint would have added weight."

You never hid from not being convinced of these flying monohulls. Don't you like the new Luna Rossa? "Well, I'd say it's not bad, even from an aesthetic point of view. I prefer it to the boat of the New Zealanders, who is not ugly, while that of the Americans of American Magic looks like a bomb... These boats, though. I am only sorry for the opportunity lost by the America's Cup ".

What do you mean?

"If the New Zealanders, the holders of the Cup, had listened to me, now we would surely have a greater number of challenging teams (besides Luna Rossa, the English of Ineos and the Americans of American Magic and - maybe, even if they say they are busy in the construction of the boat - of Stars & Stripes). It would have been better to say goodbye to the catamarans of the last edition with a less complex boat, a 60 foot monohull, like those of the former Volvo Ocean Race, always with the foils that lift it from the water and make it fly, but different from these. It would have had a simpler electronic system, it would have cost at least 20 million euros less (65 million the initial budget of Luna Rossa) and it would have been the intermediate step from which to climb to build a new class of boats. Instead we immediately started being aggressive ".

Complex boats.

The electronic system is the real secret. The one hidden in the hull, which cannot be seen. The Americans turned to Airbus, so to speak. This is the real reason that has kept other potential challenging teams away. Too difficult to start from scratch ".

Peculiarities of Luna Rossa?

"We are the only ones with the mainsail boom inside the boat. The main sail, which will be double, which can be hoisted but will always be moved with the crane given its weight, will be adjusted by the two wells, where the crew members will be, divided into as many manoeuvre groups and with each a helmsman. They won't move from there, forget the men on deck. You won't even need the bowman anymore, because you do everything from behind. If you go, launched at 30-35 knots upwind or 45-50 aft, fly away ".

For the rest of this story click here

View the link using Google's Chrome browser, with auto-translate turned on.

For the earlier story, posted in late June, on the AC75 issues as seen by Mr Bertelli click here

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