On Wednesday night, the sails for the first regattas of the 36th America’s Cup will be hoisted off Auckland. Italy’s syndicate Luna Rossa challenges the defending champions Team New Zealand in their home turf. The New Zealanders are the declared favorite.
The Italians’ yacht flies particularly effectively over the water in light winds of ten knots or more. Team New Zealand therefore wants as many white crowns as possible in the traditional competition, the first of which ended in 1851 off the British Isle of Wight with a victory for the New York Yacht Club and its ship “America”.
New boats make for a spectacle
You can sail or even fly with monohulls floating over the waves. 90 km / h are possible in almost every race. The move away from catamarans after the 35th edition did not result in a return to traditional sailing. The new rockets are light years away from the elegant sailing ships, but they also make for more spectacle. Hydrofoils on side-mounted swords or on the rudder lift the hull completely out of the water – even during the major maneuvers in turning and jibing.
Photo gallery with 5 pictures
Team New Zeland is favored in the “Best of 13” series (two races per day). But if the outsider wins, the well-known Swiss syndicate Alinghi could return to the Formula 1 of sailing. At least that’s what the Italian sports newspaper “Gazzetta dello Sport” claims, according to which Alinghi has already signed an agreement with Luna Rossa as the challenger. However, this has not been confirmed.
First of all, the Italians have to prove anyway that their high-tech bullet can compete with the New Zealanders’ super-sailors around strategist Ray Davies. That can be said of the two Luna Rossa helmsmen Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni. In the pre-start duels in the Prada Cup, they usually achieved the better position. Already 21 years ago, the Italians met New Zealand’s cup defenders in front of Auckland. At that time, the Prada Challenge was defeated by the New Zealanders 5-0. This time it should be different.