The skipper of Luna Rossa at the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco, Max Sirena, has joined Emirates Team New Zealand as they work towards the 35th Match in Bermuda. Luna Rossa issued this brief statement:
Team Luna Rossa Challenge is pleased to announce that its former Skipper and Team Director Max Sirena will join Emirates Team New Zealand’s management, working closely with the various Department Heads and the Executive Team.
This stresses the sporting and friendly ties of mutual respect that have characterized the relationship between the two teams during over fifteen years, marked by loyal and constructive competition.
The news will not be welcomed by the America's Cup management team as Sirena was the most vocal critic of Russell Coutts, Iain Murray and other members of the America's Cup Event Authority during the 34th Match.
In particular he angered Murray when the Event Director issued new safety guidelines following the tragic death of Artemis crewman Andrew Simpson after the Artemis AC72 pitch-poled. Sirena effectively accused Murray of cheating on behalf of Oracle by proposing new rudders to give the helmsmen more control.
Sirena was elected spokesman for the challengers last year, but Luna Rossa withdrew from the Cup after a change was made to foiling AC45s, instead of the previously agreed AC62s.
It is fair to say that there will continue to be fireworks between the volatile Italian and the AC management team.
– Roger McMillan