Italian sailing team Luna Rossa to set up in Alameda

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Alameda, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Italian sailing team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 will call Alameda its home for the next seven months as it prepares for the 34th America’s Cup, which will be held on San Francisco Bay this summer.

Luna Rossa, or “red moon” in Italian, will lease a 65,400-square-foot former aircraft hangar at Alameda Point for the next seven months, according to city officials. The terms of the lease were not immediately available.

Representing the Circolo della Vela Sicilia Yacht Club, Luna Rossa will join Sweden’s Artemis Racing at Alameda Point.

“Alameda is an excellent location that will allow us to operate quickly and efficiently,” Antonio Marrai, logistics manager for Luna Rossa, said in a release.

“Even though we will race from Pier 30-32 in San Francisco starting in July, we will keep our base in Alameda,” Marrai added.

The announcement that Luna Rossa would set up in Alameda comes a day before the City Council will consider renewing the lease for Artemis Racing for up to one year at 1050 West Tower Ave.

Aside from providing a 110,561-square-foot former hangar, the lease will allow the Swedish team to use 22,604 square feet of former aircraft taxiway and portions of the Seaplane Lagoon at the former military base.

Also, the city has already entered into an agreement with the Navy for access to the lagoon.

The base monthly rent for Artemis will be $23,400 between January and May 30, and $25,000 from June until the lease expires. If the team remains in Alameda and does not use the taxiway or lagoon, the rent will drop to $21,600 each month.

Artemis represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club and initially signed a one-year lease in May last year.

Fashion house Prada is sponsoring Luna Rossa at reportedly $55.2 million. Patrizio Bertelli, Prada’s chief executive officer, launched the team in 1997 under the name Prada Challenge to compete in America’s Cup 2000.

Lusa Rossa also participated in 2003 and 2007, when the Italians reached the Louis Vuitton Cup final for challengers before losing to Team New Zealand.

“2013 is the ‘Year of Italian Culture in the U.S., and we are very proud of Luna Rossa’s participation in the America’s Cup,” said Mauro Battocchi, the consul general of Italy in San Francisco.

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