Italians Nosedive damage to the Luna Rossa LEQ12
Italians nosedive damage to the Luna Rossa LEQ12
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s LEQ12 will be out of action for a while after a big nosedive whilst out training in Cagliari that caused structural damage and will see the boat in the repair shop for what Max Sirena, Team Principle described as: “not too bad, it's just time consuming.”
On a day where the breeze was just 9-11 knots on the Bay of Angels and a benign sea state, it was a remarkable incident with Francesco Bruni and Jimmy Spithill steering with Vittorio Bissaro and Andrea Tesei on trim. Going into a gybe whilst flying on their original Wing 01 foil on the starboard arm, the port foil was lowered and almost as soon as it made contact with the water, the pitch of the boat dramatically altered, steerage was lost and the LEQ12 was deep into a nose-dive.
Unfortunately for the Italian team, the damage sustained was enough to call the end of the session with the Chase Boats rushing in to support the boat with water pumps being set onboard and for precaution, flotation devices being implemented. The on-water recon team noted that: “Slightly forward of arm hinges on port and starboard, structural buckle cracks have been spotted over the forward deck and bow area, extending all the way through mid-freeboard, and not below waterline.”
Max Sirena seemed calm in interview afterwards saying: “Obviously it was a good day. I mean we did, as you guys know, a few changes to the boat and everything was fine. We were basically at the beginning of the practise around the marks and we had this big nosedive, probably the biggest one we had so far, and it's funny because you think light conditions nothing can happen. In reality most of the time it's happening in light breeze because you're pushing more the ride height and all of that, so we're there with a quite let's say big damage but it's fixable and so the plan is to be back in the water as soon as possible. We're going to reassess more or less the entity of the damage, but we have already a pretty clear idea. I’s actually not too bad, it's just time consuming and we're going to push to be back as soon as possible.”
Excellent seamanship from the Chase Boat team, they towed the LEQ12 back into dock stern first and hoisted the boat out an hour later. Further updates will come from Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli in due course as they set to repair the LEQ12 and, ahead of their AC40 arriving back from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the team will be boat-less. A blow for the team who are high on confidence after a superb showing at the Preliminary Regatta but this is an experienced unit who bounce-back quickly.