Luna Rossa joins the Audi MedCup

Robert Schiedt and Torben Grael
Kurt Arrigo / Rolex
Robert Schiedt and Torben Grael
General Manager Antonio Marrai tells of the latest plans for Patricio Bertelli's team
This year’s Audi MedCup will see the participation of two new teams, both America’s Cup challengers in TeamOrigin and also Luna Rossa. For those who have yet to join the dots, this will mean that ten years on from the Sydney Games, where he won his first Gold medal, Ben Ainslie will have the opportunity throughout this year to resume his dust up with his old Laser adversary Robert Schiedt, the Italian team’s helmsman. After Team New Zealand, Patricio Bertelli’s Luna Rossa team is now one of the oldest surviving America’s Cup teams since establishing themselves in 1997 prior to the 2000 event in Auckland. In that event they won the Louis Vuitton Cup only to be defeated by a Russell Coutts-led Team New Zealand while in 2007 with James Spithill at the wheel they were once again defeated by the Kiwis in the Louis Vuitton Cup final. With the legal wrangling following the 2007 event, Bertelli publicly turned his back on the Cup, but was in fact developing a new team retaining his long term tactician in Torben Grael and recruiting Schiedt to steer. With the America’s Cup at the time looking like it might move into a new faster monohull, such as the AC90 or the AC33, so at the end of 2008 the team built a Judel-Vrolijk STP65 that we were given the opportunity to see at Palmavela last year (read about this here). Last year the team had an action packed year with the boat competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race and Middle Sea Race, the team having to make the significant leap from America’s Cup match racing to offshore fleet racing. “It was a really good experience to try a different kind of boat,” says Luna Rossa’s long term Team Manager, Antonio Marrai. “At the beginning the