America's Cup: Luna Rossa flies high on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour

Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

The newest AC45 launched by the Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 is becoming a familiar sight on the Auckland Harbour, as she works up to the first set of trial races alongside training partner, Emirates Team New Zealand.

Both teams leave in March/April for the next round of the America's Cup World Series to be sailed in Naples, Italy in mid-April, and then return for the launch of their first AC72 yachts in July.

This gallery of images are from the launch and first sail of the AC45 - Luna Rossa will be acquiring two of the one designs geared at introducing crews to the 34th America's Cup class. Helmsman is Chris Draper, who skippered Team Korea to fourth place in the standings after three rounds of the ACWS before joining Luna Rossa.

The skipper of Luna Rossa is Max Sirena, who has sailed with the team previously in America's Cup campaigns and who helmed Luna Rossa to top position on the leaderboard in the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series, sailed in 40ft catamarans, in an eight event series in Asia, UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

First sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

LunaRossa160112 (10) - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - Luna Rossa launch and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012

Luna Rossa unveil their new AC45 catamaran in Auckland, January 16, 2012. Luna Rossa/Nigel Marple - and first sail, Auckland New Zealand 16 January 2012