Luna Rossa’s New AC75 Marks Its Silver Age

On April 12 in Cagliari, America's Cup Challenger Luna Rossa Prada unveiled its "silver-aged" AC75.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli AC75
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team’s new AC75 is revealed in mid-April in Cagliari. AC Recon

“A masterpiece of technology, design and aesthetics,” is how Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli described the AC75 with which the Italian America’s Cup Challenger will enter the forthcoming Louis Vuitton Challenger Series. Given its reflective metallic silver finish, the Italians once again enter the game with their traditional flair, reminiscent of the silver catamaran of San Francisco in 2013.

Designed in house by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s design team and built at the Persico Marine shipyard, the team’s 40-strong engineer and naval architect bench put on display over the weekend a striking new AC75 that’s not too far off from those already revealed by fellow challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing and defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.

As was expected, these second-generation AC75s are so far following hull form, so what’s hidden inside the vessel and the foil concepts to come are expected to make the difference come race days.

With the April 13 launch at the team’s base in Cagliari, the longtime challenger continued its 25-year commitment to winning the America’s Cup, this particular AC75 marks the team’s 10th Luna Rossa hull, said Patrizio Bertelli, President of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team. “This name, which has marked important milestones in my life, has also become an iconic name in sailing worldwide. It is a beautiful and radical boat that represents a step forward in terms of design and technology, born from an incredible collective effort.

Luna Rossa hull
The team’s second-generation AC75 is the 10th Luna Rossa hull in the challengers 25-year run at the Cup. AC Recon

“For this I congratulate the team at all levels for its achievement. In these 25 years I have accomplished a goal that I had set for myself a long time ago: to create a team of extraordinary technicians and sailors capable of shaping the future of sport in our country and leaving a legacy for future generations. Now, with this new Luna Rossa, I also hope to achieve my sporting ambition, to win the America’s Cup.”

Max Sirena, team director and skipper on his fourth campaign with the Italian syndicate, has long been bullish on the team’s potential going into Barcelona this summer. They were a formidable foe to Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland for the 36th America’s Cup and continued apace after losing. With ace helmsmen Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni at opposite steering wheels once again the continuum has not skipped a beat.

“We have before our eyes the result of three years of work ‘in the dark,’” Sirena said in a team announcement following the launch. “This Luna Rossa is an Italian challenge in terms of design, technology and aesthetics. With only one boat at our disposal, we had to make brave choices, pushing ourselves to extremes in all areas open to development and research, thanks also to the know-how acquired with the LEQ12 prototype.”

AC75 being loaded
AC75s revealed thus far are similar, subtle with differences focused on hull volume requirements. AC Recon

On hand for the unveiling ceremony, AC Recon personnel observed that the boat had its “legacy” foils mounted, as other teams have done for launches, and their notations were that the boat’s bustle “started sharp from the bow decreasing and ending up to the rather edgy transom.”

As with the AC75s of the New Zealand and Swiss teams, the harder edges and slab sides of the earlier-generation AC75s have been transformed to a more curved profile and the crew pods show the helmsmen and trimmers forward and the cyclors positioned in the larger aft pods.