Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Cup and is the official challenger of the 34th America’s Cup, against Oracle, starting September 7. The Kiwis beat Luna Rossa, 7 regattas to 1, showing that the gap the Italian boat had to breech was just too wide.

Max Sirena and company did their best, but the little time the Italian team had to prepare against the New Zealanders took its toll. It must also be noted that the talent the Kiwis have, starting with Dean Barker, is incomparable: their control of the AC 72, and their unwavering certainty is managing the ship in any condition. On Luna Rossa there was a lot of good will, but the mountain was just too high. Nothing bad to say about our team, except maybe in their choice of helmsman, Chris Draper, who appeared to be suffering every time they crossed the starting line. We cannot forget that this is the third final of the Louis Vuitton Cup in which Luna Rossa participates, with a win in 2000, a statistic which certainly puts Team Prada among the top teams in the world.

Team New Zealand has absolutely deserved this victory: the stronger team now has the right to challenge Oracle in a battle which will certainly be bloody. Please, don’t mind if we cheer for Team New Zealand, because we believe the America’s Cup should come back down to earth, with many challengers and boats with many teams, not just an exclusive competition for the few. We hope to see Dean Barker raise the Cup and bring it to New Zealand, with Luna Rossa being the challenge of record for the next competition. By the way, rumor has it that the New Zealanders were fascinated by Trapani, when they participated in the Acts in 2007. So maybe, if the Kiwis win, there will be a leg of the America’s Cup in Sicily.

Mauro Giuffrè

27 August 2013