Auckland (dpa) – Three years of preparation, two teams, a dream: When the 36th American Cup duel begins Wednesday morning at 4.15 am outside Auckland, New Zealand, there is a lot at stake for both teams.
New Zealand Cup defender Luna Rossa meets Tea Riotai. The Italians are chasing the world’s finest sailing titles on their sixth attempt, and are fighting for only the third European victory in the Cup’s 170-year history.
I would say the odds are half and half. It is no secret that I see our strength especially in light winds. If there is more wind, I see the New Zealand team in front, Martin Fisher predicted. The German physicist, born in Celle, is Azzurri’s co-design coordinator and co-developer of the new AC75 Cup class. The team that can book seven victory points wins the cup first.
The duel will be fought for the oldest silver pitcher in international sailing with budgets exceeding 100 million euros and future monocle projectiles rising out of the water on wings known as foil. You are flying over the regatta track at over 90 kilometers per hour.
For the teams, the showdown in New Zealand’s Hauraki Golf, 21 years after the first cup duel, resembles Dj-vu: shortly after the turn of the millennium, the Kiwi outperformed the Italians 5-0 at home. Now the 100-player racing team of passionate trophy hunter Patrizio Pettelli Italia wants to fulfill a dream he always dreamed of. Previously, his team, Luna Rossa, won the Final Challenge against Ineos by sailing legend Sir Ben Ainslie of Great Britain. Italian team captain and captain Max Serena said it was a long journey full of pitfalls in difficult times, referring to the many obstacles that all teams had to overcome in times of the Corona pandemic.
The Serena team reached the final with a lighthearted rocket and an unusual rudder concept: during the races, four-time Olympic contestant Francesco Bruni from Palermo and Australian Heavyweight Cup Jimmy Spethyl takes turns.
The 41-year-old from Sydney won the Copa America in 2010 and 2013 with the Oracle team from the USA, before New Zealand beat Bermuda in 2017 with 26-year-old helmsman and 49th Olympic champion Peter Burling. Spithill now wants to return the favor to Luna Rossa for the defeat he suffered. He knows his opponent very well: Peter Burling is without a doubt the best sailor in the world. Francesco Bruni describes Berling as a crazy talent.
The 30-year-old and his Olympic crew, Blair Tok, make up the heart and lungs aboard the New Zealand-based Tea Rehutai. The multi-talented Kiwi, who wants to compete for medals in the Olympic sailing regatta in Japan in the summer again in the 49er race with Berlin by Eric Hill and Thomas Bellel (third at the 2016 Olympics), is the barometer of all things America’s Cup.
dpa-infocom, dpa: 210309-99-747209 / 2