November 2012 , Auckland (NZL) Luna Rossa AC72
America's Cup Challenger, Luna Rossa's (ITA) sailing and shore crew have all returned to the team’s Auckland base to resume the training and development program.
The plan for January is to make the most of the 13 remaining days allowed by the Protocol to sail the AC72 prior to the January 31st deadline.
This coming week the team will be concentrating on match racing practice sessions with its two AC45 catamarans Luna Rossa Swordfish and Luna Rossa Piranha. Both boats were shipped back to Auckland from San Francisco following the end of the last America’s Cup World Series regattas in October 2012.
At the same time an additional group of sailors will be training on the SL33 catamaran to practice foiling techniques.
Starting from next week the crew will resume training on the Luna Rossa AC72 catamaran.
The main goals for this first period will be a mix of crew training sessions around the course and speed tests. The training work on the AC72 will be alternated in the coming weeks with practice on the AC45 boats and on the SL33.
The team is expected to train in Auckland until April 2013, when they will dismantle and pack their base, and transport it, along with their AC72 catamaran to San Francisco. They are expected to be sailing again in late May ahead of the Louis Vuitton Cup starting on July 4, 2012. The America's Cup Match starts on September 7, 2013.
Just three Challengers from New Zealand, Italy and Sweden, will contest the Louis Vuitton Cup, sailing in 72ft wingsailed catamarans. They will sail a Qualification Series which will count for very little, aside from providing the Challengers with valuable racing practice. The first team will not be eliminated until the end of the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, which is the Challenger Selection Series.