Max Sirena: “We showed the world the strength of this group”


Max Sirena, skipper and team director of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team, recently took part in the America’s Cup 2021 in Auckland. The Panerai ambassador spoke exclusively to Sport360 about his career and partnership with the brand.

What was the biggest challenge for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s team at this year’s America’s Cup?

When you compete in a competition like the America’s Cup, expect to be up against the toughest teams in the world. The tournament isn’t just about sport, it’s technology, strategy, decision-making process and everything you need to make one less mistake than your opponent.

The last year has been quite difficult. We faced the major problem of COVID in Italy when we were building our second boat. The shipyard was closed for five weeks because of the outbreak, but we decided to continue construction in order to be as competitive as possible. We agreed to receive the boat later than originally planned so we fell a little behind schedule and started sailing later than other teams. During the PRADA Cup we tried very hard to make up for the lost time and in the end we won the Prada Cup and got the chance to play against the defender.

Still determined: the skipper is still motivated to be successful

How does this current team compare to previous ones you’ve been on?

Every campaign and every team is different. We’re working pretty hard to build a successful mindset, especially given that we started with a whitepaper with this team a few years ago. And in the end I think we showed the world the strength of this group, which is a solid base to build a stronger team for the future and to be able to beat the best and fight for the cup.

What advice do you give to youngsters who want to go extreme sailing?

During this campaign we developed and built a good sailing program for the younger generation. I think everyone wants to sail as fast as possible today and today the key is foiling. Thanks to new technology, young sailors are now ready to easily approach the foil world by sailing on a moth, wing board or kite. Now we have a lot of sailing schools with all these new toys that anyone can drive.

After winning many campaigns including the America’s Cup, what motivates you?

I am a competitive person, both in my job and in my personal life. I think you can find motivation by looking at the others. To be the best, you have to beat the best, that’s why I’m still here. I’m addicted to the cup. The day I don’t feel like this anymore will be the day I have to give up. But I’m not done yet!

On the water: The team had a tough time last year

On the water: The team had a tough time last year

Tell us about your involvement with Panerai?

It happens through a real common interest. When I first met JMP, it took us five minutes to be on the same page. Passion, technology and competition are what we love. I think it’s the usual way Panerai and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli live their challenge.

What do you think was the highlight of your career?

I’m never happy that I always want more from myself and the people who work with me. So the highlight is always new and starts every time you’ve just finished a project.

If you could go back and repeat a moment on the water what would it be?

I would love to sail races 3 and 4 of the America’s Cup final where we missed a real chance.

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