Luna Rossa, Jeddah Preliminary Regatta day 1


30/11/2023 - 15:17

The setting of the first official day of the America's Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah presented by NEOM was a beautiful, warm and sunny day in which Luna Rossa closed in second place (provisional ranking at the end of today's races), thanks to its victory in Race 3.

The weather conditions, characterized by light winds, did not allow the AC40s to express themselves to their full potential, as all crews were challenged to keep sailing in "flight" mode.  

Race 01:

Starting on time at 1:45 p.m., the first race presented tricky conditions for the six participating teams due to light winds from WNW 4/8 knots which made it very hard to lift the boat on foils and stay in flight mode. Starting on the right side of the course, Luna Rossa suffered a drop in the breeze that brought her to round the first mark in fifth position; throughout the race, however, the Tita-Gradoni duo were able to steadily recover positions on their opponents and close the race in third position.

Luna Rossa: 3rd position (+ 5 points).

Race 02:

Due to a misjudged call at a few seconds before the start, Luna Rossa fell from her foils and was forced to a delay on the start line. The Italian crew however maintained its concentration and, as soon as they regained speed, went after the breeze on the racecourse and recovered positions on their opponents. The race finished with the team in fourth position.

Luna Rossa: 4th position (+ 3 points).

Race 03:

The day closed with an excellent performance for Luna Rossa in this last race, as the team dominates the last race of the day right from the start. After forcing Emirates Team New Zealand to tack on the line, the Italian crew sets off strongly and powerfully at the head of the fleet. The boat, helmed by Ruggero Tita and Marco Gradoni, maintains its position throughout the race, with a show of excellent cohesion and communication on board. Despite the "attacks" of ETNZ and Orient Express, Luna Rossa defends its leadership by sailing consistently on the best side of the racecourse, executing clean, fast and constantly foiling maneuvers. At the finish line Luna Rossa wins with a comfortable two-minute lead in front of the second boat.

Luna Rossa: 1st position (+ 10 points). 

«We needed a regatta like this, and we got it», said Marco Gradoni, upon arrival; «this victory belongs to the whole team who worked so hard to get to this result. We hope this is just the beginning».

«We are very happy to have won a regatta on the first day of the event», said Ruggero Tita; «we made some mistakes, because the learning curve is certainly high, but we are learning fast and today's result proves it. We will be arriving 'hungry' for victory at tomorrow's regatta».

Luna Rossa's sailing team consisted of: Ruggero Tita (helmsman), Marco Gradoni (helmsman), Umberto Molineris (trimmer) e Vittorio Bissaro (trimmer).

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America's Cup, Preliminary regatta in Jeddah Day 1