Lous Vuitton Cup: Luna Rossa wins the first race of the semifinals

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1

Today Luna Rossa Challenge faced the Swedish team Artemis Racing in the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals. On board of the team chase boat was Patrizio Bertelli, Team Principal of Luna Rossa.

The Italian team entered the pre-start zone on port tack with a slight delay due to a damage incurred on the wing (detachment of the mylar) that had to be repaired right up to few moments prior to the entrance in the pre-start area. Luna Rossa at that point chose a conservative position and crossed the starting line with a slight delay on Artemis Racing who rounded the reaching mark in the lead.

But right at the beginning of the downwind leg Luna Rossa overtook Artemis, showing better speed and boat handling, and rounded the downwind gate 30 seconds in front.

On the first windward leg the Italian team chose to tack offshore, and came back shortly after to the middle of the race course.

Halfway through the windward leg a favourable wind shift helped Artemis Racing to shorten the gap on Luna Rossa to 150 meters as they rounded the windward gate 21 seconds behind.

On the second downwind leg, however, Luna Rossa once again increased her lead on the Swedish team and rounded the gate 1 minute and 6 seconds ahead.

Both teams chose to round the right mark and started the windward leg heading inshore; Luna Rossa gained additional distance on her opponent by catching two favourable wind shifts and rounded the second windward gate 1 minute and 33 seconds ahead of Artemis Racing.

During the last run Luna Rossa flew toward the finish line, showing better performance and efficiency in boat handling, and closed the race 2-minutes in front of Artemis Racing.

Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena declared: 'Finally a good race, although we did have our share of cold shivers in the prestart: the damage to the wing clysar just a few minutes before the start of the race definitely did not help us. What is satisfying is to see that the technical effort and the crew work have improved considerably. But we have not achieved our goal yet; our aim is to keep working on our development in order to be increasingly competitive.'

Luna Rossa completed the 15.83-nautical mile course in 43 minutes, 17 seconds, maintaining an average speed of 26.04 knots and reaching a maximum speed of 39.19 knots. Artemis Racing held an average speed of 24.75 knots and reached a maximum speed of 40.56 knots.

'Hero of the day': Nick Hutton who repaired the wing damage, suspended at 15 meters in height, allowing the boat to start and complete the race.

Luna Rossa Challenge will race again against Artemis Racing tomorrow, Wednesday August 7th, for the second match of the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinal.

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: Tuesday August 6th, San Francisco: sunny skies, 15-17 knots wind from South West, flat sea, flood tide 1 knot. Race start at 13.15 local time.

San Francisco, 06/08/13 34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1 Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi

San Francisco, 06/08/13 34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1 Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi

San Francisco, 06/08/13 34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1 Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi

San Francisco, 06/08/13 34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1 Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi

San Francisco, 06/08/13 34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1 Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi

San Francisco, 06/08/13 34th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final - Race 1 Photo: © Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi