Italian America's Cup challenger, Luna Rossa, launched its new yacht in Valencia yesterday 19/1/07

 The top ranked Italian America’s Cup challenger, Luna Rossa, launched its new yacht – ITA 94 -from the Team base in Valencia yesterday.

Following the naming ceremony at 1130 carried out by Miuccia Prada, the yacht – covered by a protective tarpaulin – was lowered into the water.

Within hours of the ceremony the team headed out to sea on a maiden sail and carried out the initial structural tests.

Chattting at the event Francesco de Angelis, skipper, in comparing the new boat against the first boat (ITA 86) said: “I think the trained eye can see the difference between the two boats. For a team like ours, we had to build one boat just to get to the level where Alinghi was last time. We had to do that just to learn what they had learned.

“New techniques, materials, and the experience accumulated on the water in the past three years have come together in ITA 94? which is a full new package: new hull, new appendages, new materials and new sails.”

At the ceremony Patrizio Bertelli spoke at length about how he sees the future of the America’s Cup. He urged the next defender to work hard to control costs for the teams, commenting: “This is my third edition and each Cup is something completely new. Whoever wins the next edition must aim to make this event more sports based and less mundane. Furthermore the America’s Cup has an excessive cost and we should make it so that more teams can participate. This way there will be more emotions and sport.”