Valencia, 22 March 2006 - Luna Rossa ITA 86 was christened today in Valencia, Spain. The launching took place at Team Luna Rossa’ new base which has been designed by Renzo Piano. Weather conditions saw sunny skies, 22 degrees and a 10-12 knot north-westerly breeze.
As in past editions Mrs. Miuccia Prada was the Godmother of the event; as 12 o’clock p.m. she shattered a bottle of Italian spumante “Bellavista”, a sparkling wine, on the boat’s new bow. At Miuccia Prada’s side her husband Patrizio Bertelli, Managing Director of Gruppo Prada & Head of the Luna Rossa syndicate, Marco Tronchetti Provera, President of Teclecom Italia, and Carlo Croce, President of the Yacht Club Italiano. The Auxiliary Bishop and General Vicar of Valencia Monsignor Esteban Escudero had previously blessed the boat.
The men and women of the Team and more than 400 invited guests and press members attended the ceremony, appreciating Luna Rossa’s new look. The hull is in fact totally carbon black.
The dressed ship screened by a protective cloth, ITA 86 touched the water for the first time about fifteen minutes later.
After toasting to the new beginning Patrizio Bertelli, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Francesco de Angelis and Carlo Croce took part in a press conference in the hospitality area on the second floor of the base.
Carlo Croce kicked off the conference stating “This is when the game gets serious and we can learn something new every day.”
Bertelli then added: “Even though this is our third campaign it still is our first time. We have a new partner and this changes the way we face the challenge. This is a completely new moon.”
“In this challenge the best aspects of our country come together; made in Italy and technology. It’s a wonderful Italian adventure which demonstrated our ability to be competitive. We want the boat to win” stated Marco Tronchetti Provera.
Francesco de Angelis concluded by saying “This is a wonderful day because the whole Team can be together…..Launching a boat represents an important leg of our journey, one can reflect upon the work of the whole team formed by designers, boat builders, sailors, meteorologists, sail makers, shore team and….” de Angelis also added “We are all already thinking of tomorrow morning when we will hoist the sails for the first time.
The design of the new Team’s headquarters is based on the idea of using sails of past America’s Cup campaigns. The plan of each single façade is configured as a patchwork of mains and jibs, cut and reassembled on a rectangular warping made by frames. 50 sails, 12 mains and 38 jibs, were used to create the 485 panels, which cover the 3,100 square meter external façade.
Valencia, 22 March 2006