Luna Rossa hires Tienpont away from Oracle
AMSTERDAM _ Two-time America’s Cup winner Simeon Tienpont is switching from Oracle Team USA to Italy’s Luna Rossa. “I just want to win the cup 3 times. I think there’s a good chance of that with Luna Rossa,” Tienpont tells Zeilen magazine. Backed by sponsor Prada _ which is sinking €50 million into the Italian team _ Luna Rossa will formally present its new crew lineup on May 10.
Tienpont, the Netherlands’ top sailor of 2013, participated in Oracle Team USA’s stunning, come-from-behind America’s Cup victory last year in San Francisco. As boat captain and project leader, he liaised between the AC team, designers and builders. He also developed the boat’s foils system and worked as a grinder during the final in San Francisco Bay.
Tienpont tells Zeilen he was hired away from Oracle and quickly became a believer. ‘’I think right now Luna Rossa is the strongest team. There is a good culture. After so many bids, always participating at the top but never winning, their goal now is crystal clear: They want to bring that cup to Italy! Their whole approach appeals to me.’’
Tienpont remains interested in a Volvo Ocean Race bid. “I’d love to put together a campaign with a new generation of young sailors as was the case with ABN/AMRO 2. But it looks like I’ll be full-time employed at Luna Rossa.” Tienpont served on ABN-AMRO-II in the 2005-06 VOR and has done 7 AC campaigns. In 2007 he was on Russell Coutts’ BMW Oracle that won the 2007 AC.