Luna Rossa enters America’s Cup and confirms joint project with Emirates Team New Zealand

Following recent speculation that Luna Rossa team would be placing an entry in for the next America’s Cup Challenger Series, the Italian has confirmed that its challenge for the 34th America’s Cup has been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

The surprise news however was of a deal between the Kiwis and the Italians to share design data and the build of their first AC72 catamarans.

A statement released today read;

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 and Emirates Team New Zealand have signed a cooperation agreement until 31st December 2012 which includes full access to all ETNZ design and performance data for this period. The hulls for the Luna Rossa AC72′ will be built in Italy and all other elements will be built in New Zealand in close cooperation with Emirates Team New Zealand.

Luna Rossa’s 2012 programme includes the opening of a base in Auckland (New Zealand) for the joint training, the participation in all events of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) with the AC 45′ wing catamarans and the launch of the AC 72′ wing catamaran for the America’s Cup.

From March 2013 the team Luna Rossa will continue its sporting preparation and technical development of the AC 72′ in San Francisco and will participate to all events scheduled for the 34th America’s Cup.

“This is a completely transparent and shared project,” said Grant Dalton told. “Their first boat will be identical to ours as will be the wing.

“In order to satisfy the rules on building the boat their hulls, which represent around a third of the overall project, will be built in Italy but everything else will be built in New Zealand. This is clearly a big deal for the New Zealand marine industry.”

But why share data and design?

“Testing is one of the big issues,” continued Dalton. “Under the rules a team is not allowed to two boat test until a certain date but this means we can be testing much earlier.

“It is also important that we get out there and test against a decent team. If the All Blacks had only trained against Romania they wouldn’t have been the team that they are.”

The build project starts next week and is expected to take around 8 months to build a boat absorbing 70,000 man hours per boat. The first boat will be launched mid 2012.

The news takes to three, the number of challengers that have made a commitment to launch AC72s for 2013.