Being the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa had the advantage of being involved in the class rule and design process of the 75ft foiling monohulls to be raced in next year’s America’s Cup.
But now, as the teams are unveiling their second and final race boats, Luna Rossa co-design coordinator Horacio Carabelli believes any advantage they might have had early in the process is long gone.
Luna Rossa and fellow challengers American Magic and INEOS Team UK have all launched their second AC75s over the last week, with only the defending Team New Zealand yet to do so.
Speaking to the Herald, Carabelli says while being involved in the design process helped Luna Rossa early, it shouldn’t be a factor anymore.
“You have a certain advantage at the beginning, but you have seen the second generation now,” he explains. “Everybody catches up on everything that might have been missed by them from not having the months of rule development and understanding the design.
“For sure it’s an advantage, but at the beginning. I believe by now all the others should have learnt what was needed to build a boat to the level to win.
“So, I think we’re all going to be in the same ballpark at the end; it’s just a matter of having a little edge to beat the others.”
While Luna Rossa made small, but significant changes in the build of their second vessel, the other two challengers made much larger alterations between their first and second boats to best position themselves in their bid for the Auld Mug.
“It’s a massive milestone for us. We saw it starting from scratch, through the whole build and sailing the first one, it’s massive.
“Now, this is the tool we have to win the America’s Cup and we’re pretty happy with it.”
The syndicates won’t know exactly how their boats will sail in competition until mid-December when they will contest what would have been the final leg of the America’s Cup World Series had the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the first two.
Instead, it will be a one-off regatta representing the first, and only, opportunity for the teams to learn what they need to about handling their boats in the competitive arena before the Prada Cup challenger series in January.
However, from what he’s seen, Carabelli is confident in the vessel his team have produced.
“The good things (from the first boat) are still there, and better ones have been improved on it. Small details in terms of the boat, it looks pretty similar, but there are a lot of changes and a lot of different things on it.
“Put it this way – I wouldn’t change our boat with the others.”
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