On Aug. 10, Luna Rossa Challenge won the fourth race of the Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinals, sweeping the series against Artemis Racing, and punching their ticket to the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals starting Aug. 17. They’ll match up against Emirates Team New Zealand–the team they lost to previously in the Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Artemis Racing helmsman Nathan Outteridge said, “The past two weeks have probably been the most fun I’ve had sailing in a very long time. These boats are amazing machines. It was only today on the final run where I finally felt like we were getting into the groove and no one was freaking out and panicking about things. It was amazing fun.”
Chris Draper, helmsman of Luna Rossa, said, “The team has taken a good few steps forward the past couple of weeks. For sure we’ve improved a lot, but we’ve all seen the Kiwis (Emirates Team New Zealand) are very, very solid. We’re going to have to sail incredibly well, and we need to get more performance out of our boat to be competitive with them. With regards to boathandling and that sort of thing, I think we’re getting a lot closer. But they’re still improving and that makes it hard for us to make up ground, it makes it hard for any of us. But we feel a lot happier racing the boat and feel like we’re properly racing now, I know it’s hard to believe. It’s amazing how unprepared you can feel, these boats are pretty humbling. For sure we keep pushing next week and fingers crossed we can be as competitive as possible and the hopefully the changes we’ll make to the boat will improve upwind performance as well.”
Louis Vuitton Cup Final schedule (best-of-13 series):
Saturday, Aug. 17: Final Race 1 (1:10 pm PT start time), Final Race 2 (2:10 pm PT)
Sunday, Aug. 18: Final Race 3 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 4 (2:10 pm PT)
Wednesday, Aug. 21: Final Race 5 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 6 (2:10 pm PT)
Saturday, Aug. 24: Final Race 7 (1:10 pm PT), Final Race 8 (2:10 pm PT) – if necessary