Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
NAPLES

Sailing: Naples savours America's Cup experience

English
© ANSA

(By Paul Virgo)
Naples, April 17 - Naples is getting its second
taste of the America's Cup experience this week, with nine of
the world's best sailing teams in town for the series that helps
them prepare for this summer's big event in San Francisco.
The Naples leg of the 2012-13 America's Cup World Series
starts in earnest with the start of competition on Thursday,
although the teams have been here all week training.
The third and final event of the 2012-13 series is the last
full-blooded competition for teams before the Louis Vuitton Cup,
which will see three outfits do battle between July and
September for the right to challenge holders Oracle Team USA for
the America's Cup proper.
Last year's AC World Series event Naples drew estimated
crowds of half a million people to the beautiful Naples seafront
for a taste of America's Cup competition, which is often
described as Formula One on water.
The World Series sees teams face off in AC45 catamarans,
twin-hub boats similar to the AC72's that will be used in the
34th America's Cup.
The main point of interest at the 2012 event in Naples was
the debut of Luna Rossa in the series.
The Prada-backed Italian outfit enjoyed a dream induction,
with one of its two teams, Piranha, coming first after a
thrilling victory in the final fleet race.
And local enthusiasts' eyes will again be focused on Luna
Rossa for indications of how the team's bid to claim the oldest
trophy in international sport is shaping up.
"The most beautiful memory from last year's event in Naples
is the Neapolitans, their warmth and support, not only for our
team, but for the event itself," said Luna Rossa skipper Max
Sirena.
"Still today the image of the crowd spread all over the
seafront and on the surrounding hills remains the symbol of last
year's event. I expect the crowd to be even larger this year,
and support us even stronger".
After the two previous stages of this season's World Series
Piranha is second in the standings with 121 points, 44 behind
the Oracle team skippered by Tom Slingsby.
The second Luna Rossa team, Swordfish, is sixth with 71
points.
"We're in for a great battle between us at Luna Rossa and
the other teams, starting with Oracle," said Luna Rossa Piranha
skipper Chris Draper.
"The races will be more about tactics than speed, so they
will be less tiring physically, but at the same time they will
be challenging, as there lots of teams will be at the same
level.
"Each event and match will be crucial to get as much as
insight as possible into the rival teams in view of the Louis
Vuitton Cup, when we'll race with AC72s, which are different
from the AC45s as they are uncontrolled beasts, they are
tigers".
Luna Rossa will be up against Sweden's Artemis Racing and
Team New Zealand at the Louis Vuitton Cup in San Francisco.
Italian fashion house Prada also backed Luna Rossa for
America's Cup campaigns in 2000, 2003 and 2007.
Their best America's Cup campaign was their first one in
2000, when they won the Louis Vuitton Cup to earn the right to
challenge for the ultimate prize before being whitewashed 5-0 by
New Zealand in the decisive series.
Another point of interest for the Naples event is the
participation of Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben
Ainslie at the helm of the J.P. Morgan BAR team.
"I'm in Naples for the first time and I have to say that
it's a beautiful city with excellent sea conditions for the
regattas," said Ainslie.
"It's the first time that we are in competition against
other teams, although we have had the chance to train with
Oracle.
"The competition will be of a really high level".

© Riproduzione riservata

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