The famous racing boat confirms the strong bond with Sardinia
The Ichnusa pier will be the headquarters of the Luna Rossa team
Cagliari will host Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for another 4 years. Therefore, the city will be the background for the preparation of Max Sirena’s team for the next America’s Cup.
The news came directly from the Port System Authority of the Sea of Sardinia. The president, Massimo Deiana, defined the renewal as “a path that, thanks to the team’s exciting performance in the past America’s Cup, confirms Cagliari as a strategic basis for the upcoming challenges“.
Max Sirena, however, had already anticipated it during the Venice Boat Show, in June 2021, declaring: “In October the team will train in Sardinia”.
The story of Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelliis not the name of a single sailing boat, but of a series of them designed for competition.
The project started in 1997, when the entrepreneur Patrizio Bertelli and the designer German Frers decided to participate in the 30th America’s Cup. In a short time they involved other people, such as the designer Doug Peterson, the sailing champion Torben Grael and the skipper Francesco de Angelis .
The group bought three IACC boats (USA 28 Kanza, USA 43 Might Mary and USA 23 America³) and settled in Punta Ala near Castiglione della Pescaia, in Tuscany. They chose this area because the sea and wind conditions were similar to those of the Hauraki Gulf, in New Zealand, seat of the upcoming regattas.
On April 21, 1997, they officially launched the challenge against the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, holder of the America’s Cup. And during the summer the newborn Italian team began training between Tuscany and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, at a shipyard in Grosseto, engineers were building a new hull. It took two years and, finally, in 1999 the launch of ITA45, the first Luna Rossa, took place with Miuccia Prada as godmother.
The boat and the following ones have participated in the most important sailing competitions, such as the Louis Vuitton Cup / Prada Cup and the America’s Cup. Of these, Luna Rossa has won two editions of the Louis Vuitton Cup / Prada Cup.
Why the name ‘Luna Rossa’
Patrizio Bertelli chose the name ‘Luna Rossa’ during a summer dinner. That night a beautiful full moon with reddish hues illuminated the landscape and inspired the entrepreneur.
Some time later Miuccia Prada told how the name was suitable to create a contrast with Black Magic, the New Zealand boat. Only later did the protagonists remember an old Neapolitan song entitled ‘Luna Rossa, which the Italian musician Renzo Arbore then transformed into a sort of anthem of the sailing team.
The America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is not only the most famous sailing trophy, but also the oldest sporting trophy still active.
Its origins date back to 1851, the year of the first universal exhibition in London. For the occasion, the Royal Yacht Squadron, the most prestigious British yachting club, offered a silver jug to the winner of their annual regatta around the Isle of Wight.
Today the America’s Cup includes several regattas in which two boats compete against each other. One boat is called defender and is the holder of the trophy; the other is the challenger. The challenger is the winner of a series of races between various contenders.
Despite the passage of time, the trophy still today is a silver jug, known as the Auld mug (old jug).
The bond between Luna Rossa and Cagliari
It is no coincidence that Luna Rossa has chosen to stay in Cagliari, despite the availability of other locations.
In addition to being a city that hosts many events, the capital of Sardinia is located in a great position. The main element is the presence of constant winds that make the area a paradise for sailing lovers.
The bond between Cagliari and sailing is so strong that skipper Max Sirena coined the term ‘Cagliarifornia’, a crasis between Cagliari and California.
And precisely in Cagliari, on October 2 ,2019, Luna Rossa launched the full-foiling monohull AC75. This is the innovative boat that participated in the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2021.