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America’s Cup: British and Italian teams launch their first AC75s

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It has been another big week for the America’s Cup with the launch of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team and INOEOS Team UK AC75s on Wednesday and Friday respectively.

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These two latest boats bring the AC75 fleet up to four including the previously launched boats from NYYC American Magic and the America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand.

The fourth accepted Challenger, fledgling American syndicate Stars + Stripes Team USA, is yet to confirm its progress towards finishing and launching the AC75 believed to be partially completed.

Last week’s latest two launches have only added to the diversity of the Defender and Challenger teams’ design strategies and individual interpretations of the AC75 design rule, with both boats having their own distinctive look compared to each other and those of the American and Kiwi teams.

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America's CupBoth boats though were the result of massive design and construction efforts with the Italian’s Luna Rossa, designed by the team’s 37-strong in-house design group, taking almost two years to build at the Persico Marine boatyard by a team of more than 90 people for a total of 78,000 work hours.

Likewise the British boat Britannia is reported to have taken 90,000 design and 50,000 construction hours to create.

The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team AC75 was christened at the team’s base in Cagliari, Sardinia – the venue for the first America’s Cup World series event next April. Miuccia Prada – founder of the global Prada fashion brand and wife of the team’s CEO Patrizio Bertelli – name the boat Luna Rossa with a spectacular champagne magnum smash across it’s bowsprit.

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Image © Stefano Gattini/Studio Borlenghi

So enthusiastic was Mrs Prada’s wielding of the champagne bottle that she was seen nursing a bloodied hand afterwards, coincidentally the same as what happened last time she launched a Luna Rossa boat – the team’s silver catamaran in 2012.

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Meanwhile on Friday at the Ineos Team UK base in Portsmouth UK, syndicate owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s daughter Julia did the honours to name the British AC75 Britannia with a champagne spray across the boat’s distinctive cutaway bow.

Top of the agenda now for both teams will be full commissioning of their boats, followed no doubt by tow testing sessions before the sailors get to sail their boats for the first time.

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