“I baptize you Luna Rossa!” – with these words the launch of the new TP52 was officially celebrated in Piazza Unita’ d’Italia in Trieste in front of thousands of people. The city of Trieste enthusiastically welcomed the Luna Rossa Challenge team who will participate with this new yacht in the 52 Super Series, to take place from May to September this year. The TP52 Super Series is the first series of races in which the crew can test its strategies prior to the next edition of the America’s Cup (Auckland 2021).
Hosting the event was Mitja Gialuz, president of the yacht club of Barcola and Grignano and organizer of Barcolana, the largest sailing regatta in the world, who before the launch during the press conference at the Salone della Prefettura, said: “Luna Rossa Challenge faces a very important objective: before the America’s Cup its mission will be to inspire all of our sports enthusiasts to excel and do their best”.
Attending the meeting with Italian and international press were Patrizio Bertelli – Team Principal of Luna Rossa Challenge – and Max Sirena – Luna Rossa’s Team Director and Skipper – who pointed out that among the goals of Luna Rossa there is the wish to promote sailing culture and to train new generations of sailors. This is the goal of the New Generation program, initiated this year with seven young acquisitions; this same goal has been behind the activities carried out during the days prior to the launch in the schools of Trieste. Attending the conference were also Gilberto Nobili, introducing the new projects of Luna Rossa and on-board technologies, and Francesco Bruni – helmsmen of the new TP52. A highly enthusiastic Vasco Vascotto was also called to comment his new participation in a campaign that will also include two young sailors also from Trieste: Andrea Tesei and Nicolas Brezzi. In his role as tactician Vascotto will participate in the next races and, alongside equally experienced sailors, will work with the younger athletes to initiate their journey towards the America’s Cup in the best way possible.
After the press conference all participants moved down to the plaza for the launch ceremony. Godmother of the launch was Luisa Penso, a 17-year old sailor from Trieste and a promising athlete in the 420 class, who following the sailing tradition, symbolically christened the yacht by breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow.
It was a beautiful Sunday of celebration for all sailing enthusiasts, who flocked to the San Giusto dock and near the Scala Reale. The talented pianist from Friuli Remo Anzovino accompanied the background images on the big screen as they narrated the Luna Rossa story from its beginnings in 1997 until today. It was a very evocative moment, with comments from the team and several videos, including the final moments of assembly and testing of the new TP52, just few days before the launch.
On the stage set-up for the ceremony the sailing team was officially presented for the first time, including Davide Cannata, born in Cagliari and 24 years old, new entry in the Luna Rossa team thanks to the New Generation project.
Together with Max Sirena, Gilberto Nobili, Vasco Vascotto and Francesco Bruni the sailing team is completed by Pietro Sibello, Francesco Mongelli, Shannon Falcone, Pietro Mantovani, Pierluigi De Felice, Giuseppe Acquafredda, James Spithill, Michele Cannoni, Jacopo Plazzi, Matteo Celon, Andrea Tesei, Enrico Voltolini, Umberto Molineris and Nicholas Brezzi. A very positive Max Sirena declared: “I see in them the same passion and enthusiasm of when we started”.
The first test for Luna Rossa is scheduled for next May 23rd in Sibenik (Croatia), where the Super Series will start; it will be a circuit of five regattas in the TP52 class, with a race every month until September in the locations of Zadar, Cascais, Mallorca and Valencia.
To be noted that the TP52 Luna Rossa is not the AC75 yacht that will race in the 36th America’s Cup: the AC75 is still being designed and will be launched, as per the Protocol, after March 31st 2019.