Luna Rossa team director Max Sirena has suggested the America's Cup crews need to start working on sailing off their foils in preparation for what's to come.
On Sunday, Team New Zealand and Ineos Team UK struggled through the first race of the Christmas Cup, ending up in a displacement race, with the hull of their vessels cutting through the water rather than sailing over the top of it, as the wind died away. Neither team finished the race within the 45-minute time period, and the day's events were subsequently abandoned.
The display prompted plenty of questions about the wind limits and whether the lower limit of 6.5knots had been set too low.
Speaking to the Herald after the regatta, Sirena said it was all a part of the game and Sunday's events may be a sign of things to come in both the Prada Cup Challengers' Series in January and the America's Cup match in March.
"It was interesting," Sirena said of seeing the New Zealand and British crews in a displacement duel. "It will happen again; you need to be ready for it and to be able to sail in displacement.
"You need to be practicing for that as well because it will happen again; we're going into a summer period with light breeze.
"I think the wind limit is not a problem. I think it's just the matter of racing; once you start you could have the wind drop, so it's part of the game."
Because the Christmas Cup was abandoned after one attempted race, Luna Rossa and fellow challenger American Magic had to settle for the three days of sailing afforded to them by the America's Cup World Series, which ran from Thursday to Saturday. While they were on the water on Sunday, their scheduled race was not run.
There is a chance the Christmas Cup could be rescheduled to a new date in the new year, however discussions around the viability of doing so are yet to take place.
But while they didn't get that fourth day of racing, Sirena said the week had been informative and gave Luna Rossa plenty to think about between now and the beginning of the Challengers' Series on January 15; particularly in terms of closing the gap between themselves and the defender, Team New Zealand.
"It's going to be a development process to the end. It's a new class, we're discovering new things every day, new ways to sail the boat," Sirena said.
"These three days of racing has been massive and impressive, even from a spectator's point of view, we saw some exciting match racing and some exciting pre-starts so it's good.
"I think the defender still has an edge on everyone. All three challengers need to improve quite a lot."
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