The America’s Cup design warfare is in full swing with Luna Rossa altering its boat to match a Team New Zealand innovation.
The Italian sailing website Fare Vela reported it had spotted the changes around the cockpit area of their AC75 boat over the weekend.
“Luna Rossa has created the fairings to optimise the aerodynamics of the deck and reduce the drag of the crew,” it reported.
“The new measure was hypothesised by several observers after seeing the best fairing on Te Rehutai.”
There are also claims the Italians have altered their setup to give the grinders more leverage.
Luna Rossa was also sporting a new mainsail logo ahead of the Prada Cup challengers’ contest which starts on January 15th.
The design grab is all part of the America’s Cup deal.
American Magic CEO/skipper Terry Hutchinson has already said his team will “grab on to a couple of (ideas) that we can implement into our own sails or techniques”.
Meanwhile, despite a recent report saying no further practice racing involving Team New Zealand would take place, Hutchinson has indicated he would be open to the team being included in any pre-Prada Cup practice races.
The Prada Cup will not only decide who gets to challenge TNZ for the America’s Cup, but give that challenger invaluable racing time advantage over TNZ.
Hutchinson said it was not in the challengers’ interests to allow TNZ to take part in any practice racing before the Prada Cup, but “if the decision was made that it’s all or nothing, that everyone has to be included, we would consider any reasonable offer”.
Team New Zealand will be desperate to take part in any practice events and allowing them to be involved might smooth the way for the sessions to happen.
Race director Iain Murray had penciled in Thursday and Friday, plus two days next week, as potential practice dates. This would also help the race committee fine tune its operation.
If trial racing did take place before the Prada Cup, it would reveal whether the struggling British team had come up with any design miracles to save their campaign.
Team INEOS had a disastrous pre-Christmas regatta, with an embarrassing performance inlight winds.
But Hutchinson refused to rule them out, pointing to the Olympic gold medal class of its principals Sir Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott.
“It’s a three horse race without question,” he told NZME.
“It would be an absolute mistake to think otherwise. Of the three teams they have the highest gain rate potential.
“That makes a good group of people incredibly dangerous.”
Enjoy smooth sailing to the Cup with Auckland Transport
• Avoid traffic congestion and parking niggles and download the AT Mobile app to plot your bus, train or ferry ride to race venues before you leave home.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride to the Cup
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup
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