Luna Rossa and her British helmsmen


Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa
Chris Draper, Paul Campbell-James and Max Sirena tell us about the Italian America's Cup campaign
In the absence of a TeamOrigin, over the next months British America’s Cup fans will have to get behind the Italian team, where Chris Draper and Paul Campbell-James are helmsmen on Luna Rossa’s two respective AC45s, Piranha and Swordfish. “I am still asking myself why I did that?!” quips Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena of the choice to go British with his helmsman. “When Patricio Bertelli decided to do the Extreme 40, I asked ‘how do we want to do this season? Start from zero or to start from a good level?’ In the end it was an easy choice. I just opened the Extreme Sailing Series website and I checked who won the season the previous year and it was him [he points to Paul C-J] and before it was him [Chris Draper].” While match racer, turned 49er Olympic sailor turned catamaran sailor Paul Campbell-James campaigned the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series-winning The Wave, Muscat, Chris Draper won the series the previous year with another Oman Sail team, Oman Sail Masirah. With Sirena as skipper, Paul C-J subsequently helmed the Luna Rossa X40 to victory in the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series, once again with Alister Richardson on tactics (who has also moved to Luna Rossa), while Draper was called in to help coach. Draper, the bronze 49er medallist from Athens, otherwise spent last year helming the AC45 for Team Korea and was contacted to join the Italian team late last year, when the Koreans were uncertain (as they still are) over whether they would find funding for their AC72 campaign. Language is potentially an issue on board, for while they come from the UK, Paul C-J and Draper mainly speak Hampshire combined with catamaran shorthand. As Draper’s tactician, Italian legend Francesco Bruni says of them: “They use weird English! They use a lot

VISITORS