Luna Rossa won the Prada Cup, beating the crew of the British Ineos twice in the Auckland harbor and after 21 years taking an Italian boat to the America’s Cup final. With the two victories in the night the Italian boat closed the challenge with Ineos at 7-1. From 6 to 15 March the crew led by Max Sirena will challenge Team New Zealand to decide who will win the most difficult and oldest trophy in international sport. For the second time in its six attempts, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli enters the exclusive list of just 36 contenders who have marked 170 years of America’s Cup history. As happened 21 years ago, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand will face the Italian crew in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand
“We are Italians”, the warm comment of the helmsman Checco Bruni after the triumph. It is the third time that an Italian boat has won the selection of challengers, now called the Prada Cup: the first was in 1992 with Gardini and Cayard’s Modo di Venezia, the second was in 2000 with another Luna Rossa, that of Francesco De Angelis. It therefore took 21 years and five failed attempts before bringing the flag back to the America’s Cup challenge. The star of the feat was skipper Max Sirena who in the meantime had won two editions of the America’s Cup with New Zealand in 2017 and Oracle USA In 2010.
The challenge with Emirates Team New Zealand promises to be very difficult but also the last two races won with Ineos have confirmed the strength of Luna Rossa. In the first two sides were enough for the Italian boat to take off and in the end she closed with an advantage of one minute and 45 seconds. In the second Luna Rossa won the start but was slightly ahead of the line and therefore took a penalty leaving the British 50 meters ahead, but then she still managed to recover and win.