After the tow-test (towing out without mast and sails) on Friday October 21st, which served to run checks on all displaced surfaces, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's prototype set out yesterday on her first day of actual sailing. Despite the very weak wind (around 7 knots), the boat did foil and stayed on the wings for a fair amount of time.
Great satisfaction within the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team after this first day, which confirms the excellent impressions already seen in returning from the tow-test, when the structural sectors, mechatronics, etc. were positively checked.
«We checked all the aero part» explains Gilberto - Gillo - Nobili, operations manager of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. «We hoisted the mainsail for the first time and carried out the calibration of the mast and the tuning of the hydraulic and electronic systems; we docked off on tow because the wind was too weak, but once out we were out we foiled and made some trims, noting that everything was working perfectly; we tacked, even though the wind was not strong enough to manoeuvre. We are very happy with the results of the day».
Jimmy Spithill, who was 'paired' at the helm with olympian Ruggero Tita, was also very satisfied: «It was a great day, and considering that it was the first under sail, the boat behaved very well; everything worked and we did some foiling. Congratulations to the guys who did a great job, it was really nice. We did not manouvre much because there was not enough wind, but in the next few days we should have more air and we should be able to sail normally».
Although it wasn't his first foiling outing on an America's Cup, the emotions for Ruggero Tita were still plenty: «I had already experienced the thrill of sailing on the AC75, on Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's boat 1 to be exact, but getting on board the prototype was especially cool because the boat is so sensitive to the helm. As a first day, I'd say it went very well, even though we didn't get to sail at 100%. Alternating with another helmsman is a quite a new experience and switching roles is not automatic when tacking from one side to the other. I had a lot of fun».
The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team will continue its sea-trials in the waters of Cagliari to test the hull, manoeuvres and instruments in different weather conditions and to train the crew - in rotation - on this new boat.