In late January Luna Rossa fitted wheel steering to their AC45x test boats, “Piranha” and “Swordfish.” They posted this photo to their Facebook page on January 24, 2015 with the caption “training at dawn.” These boats will continue to evolve as Luna Rossa develops their AC62 design in the lead up to the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda. We have not seen any photos or video of these boats sailing. In the photo we can see that the boat still has the standard AC45 crossbeams.
Luna Rossa is the only team sailing two foiling AC45 test boats. Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing both have sailed much more highly modified AC45x test boats. Ben Ainslie Racing has converted their AC45 for foiling, but the crossbeams and steering we have seen are still from the original AC45 version. Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand have begun modifying AC45s to the one design foiling version for the America’s Cup World Series. Neither Team France nor ETNZ has begun work on a development AC45x for testing AC62 design concepts.
Unofficial reports say that Luna Rossa has purchased another AC45, from Energy Team. They will modify this boat to the one design standard for racing in the America’s Cup World Series, which begins June 5, 2015 in Cagliari.