Photo: Carlo Borlenghi

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has a very long America’s Cup history having first competed in 2000 and has taken part in every Cup since (with the exception of the unique 2010 Deed of Gift match and the 2017 event from which they withdrew after an argument around a change of boat in the cycle).

Team Name: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Yacht Club: Circolo della Vela Sicilia
Skipper: Max Sirena (ITA)

For the 36th America’s Cup Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli were the Challenger of Record – a position now occupied by INEOS Britannia. They also won the challenger selection series so it was this Italian team who took on Emirates Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup itself.

The team will return for the 37th America’s Cup though this time they are not the official Challenger of Record.

The team’s recent history in the cup is a very interesting one. They took part in the 2013 AC but were late to develop hydrofoiling – which was pioneered by Emirates Team New Zealand – and were knocked out by the Kiwis in the challenger selection series.

Following that event and the eventual win by Oracle Team USA, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli had entered the 2017 America’s Cup but withdrew in protest when the class of boat was changed, ending an 18-year 4-Cup run.

Although they did not compete in the 2017 AC Luna Rossa did lend some of their team members and resources to Emirates Team New Zealand. It was widely believed this team-up came with the promise that should the Kiwis win, Luna Rossa would be their Challenger of Record, giving the Italian team a say in the type of boat to be used in that next event.

The Kiwis did win and duly made Luna Rossa their Challenger or Record and these two teams fought it out in the 2021 America’s Cup itself (after the Italians won the Challenger Selection Series) but it was the Kiwis who came out on top.

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