Louis Vuitton Cup: Early end to Race 3 of Finals for Luna Rossa

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Final - Race 3

Today Luna Rossa Challenge raced against Emirates Team New Zealand in Race 3 of the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals. Race 4 did not start due to winds exceeding the set limit.

Luna Rossa entered the pre-start box on port tack and Emirates Team New Zealand tried to control the Italian team on leeward; Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper however maintained the control and won the start, crossing the line on windward and ahead the Kiwis.

The two boats sailed overlapped for the entire reaching leg and maintained the same average speed (34.26 knots Luna Rossa and 34. 27 knots Emirates Team New Zealand) as they rounded the reaching mark with the Kiwis on the inside.

On the downwind leg the two teams still sailed at similar speeds and with less than a 50-meters gap. Team New Zealand took the lead with a better manoeuvre but Luna Rossa kept the contact on her opponent and rounded the downwind gate 150 meters behind.

On the windward leg Luna Rossa tacked immediately inshore after the gate but was forced to stop due to a technical problem to the wing that forced her to withdraw. Emirates Team New Zealand closed the race in 22 minutes and 28 seconds and scored the point in Race 3 (2-1).

Max Sirena, Luna Rossa skipper, declared: 'Chris (Draper) made an excellent start and as long as we stayed in the race we proved ourselves competitive. Unfortunately today we experienced another technical issue that forced us to stop and withdraw from the race. But today we proved to everyone that we have made a huge step forward in our performance, maneuvers and boat handling. We are not so far now and will keep on putting pressure on our opponents'.

Luna Rossa Challenge will race again against Emirates team New Zealand on Wednesday August 21st for the fourth and fifth match of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals.

Today’s crew was: 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).

Conditions - Monday August 19th, San Francisco: sun, 17-18 knots wind from South West, flat sea, ebb tide 0.1 knots. Race start at 12.10 local time.