Merino wool has once again been put to the test through the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team uniform, designed and developed for the 37th America’s Cup. The uniforms further cement Merino wool’s rightful place as a new breed of
natural-performance sailing wear.
The America's Cup has begun!
We’re proud to cheer on the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team as they race towards victory in the 37th America’s Cup. Reuniting with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli as the official technical partner, The Woolmark Company continues to put Merino wool’s inherent technical benefits to the test, expanding on the existing team kit to include performance-first apparel for cycling, running and gym-based training. The custom-made team uniforms have been made with technical fabrics that utilise Merino wool – a 100% natural, renewable biodegradable and recyclable fibre.
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Enhanced sports performance, naturally
These extreme weather wear garments utilise the fibre Merino wool to enhance performance and reduce environmental impact. Wool’s natural properties such as superb breathability, the ability to wick away moisture and superior thermoregulation make the natural fibre ideal for professional sailing.
These uniforms herald the emergence of a new breed of natural performance sailing wear outperforming the rest. A Merino wool-rich wet jacket and wet suit offer the first line of protection with these technical outerwear garments, whilst a variety of base-layers harness Merino wool's superb breathability and moisture management properties.
Ultralight to maximise speed, the Merino wool-rich cycling gear protects athletes from wind and rain whilst delivering natural stretch for freedom of movement. Unique technical fabrics were developed to deliver enhanced temperature regulation and moisture management benefits, excelling in different weather conditions and intensity levels.
Stretch beyond expectation with a fibre made to maximise movement and comfort, these Merino wool-rich garments for running keeps the athletes cool and dry during endurance training activities. Soft next-to-skin base-layers and water-repellent mid- and outer-layers draw on the thermoregulating benefits of Merino wool.
“The last edition proved how Merino wool is the perfect partner to ensure high-quality performances thanks to its natural qualities. We are pleased to extend the presence of this 100% natural fibre also in the training uniforms, underlining once again the team's commitment to safeguarding the oceans.”
Merino wool sailing and training kit
How Merino wool protects the ocean
With a focus on technical performance, and the added benefit of protecting the ocean, Merino wool proves to be the added element for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli – a fibre created in - and defined by - the forces of nature, put to the ultimate test by this elite sailing team.
With up to 35% of microplastics in the marine environment shed from synthetic clothing, the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team chose to help combat the rising tide of microplastics by reducing the amount of synthetic fibres in its team uniform, and instead incorporating Merino wool – a 100% biodegradable fibre in both land and marine environments.
History of the America’s Cup
1851: THE LEGACY BEGINS
The America’s Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 making it the oldest trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years.
1870-1980: AMERICA UNDEFEATED
A 132-year winning stretch saw boats representing America successfully defend the trophy 24 times from 1870 through 1980.
1980: CHALLENGER SERIES
Without a doubt, the America’s Cup is the most difficult trophy in sport to win. In the more than 160 years since that first race off England, only four nations have won. In 1983 the Challenger Selection Series was introduced to develop and identify the strongest possible challenger for the America’s Cup and ensure that they were sufficiently battle-tested through tough competition to beat the Defender.
1983: AUSTRALIA SUCCEEDS
Australia was one of the challenging countries in 1983, and the ‘Men from Down Under’ brought a secret weapon. Australia II sported a boxing Kangaroo flag in the rigging as she was towed out to sea, and under the water, a radically-designed winged keel that gave the 12-Metre Class boat superior speed under most conditions. Australia II became the first successful challenger to lift the trophy from the Americans.
1997: PRADA LAUNCHES CHALLENGE
The Luna Rossa team was created in 1997 by Patrizio Bertelli under the name "Prada Challenge for America's Cup 2000”. At its debut the team immediately won the Challenger Selection Series and went on to challenge the Defender for the America's Cup.
2000: PRADA’S FUTURISTIC UNIFORMS
With understated, futuristic uniforms issued to the sailors on the Prada Challenge, the technical clothing, including custom-made foul-weather gear for heavy-weather days and form-fitting and tri-laminate Lycra-based spray shirts were sported in silver with a distinct red stripe featuring the Prada logo.
2013: LUNA ROSSA CHALLENGER
Luna Rossa subsequently participated in the 2003, 2007 and 2013 editions of America's Cup, qualifying for the final of the Challenger Selection Series three times out of four disputed America's Cup campaigns. The crew’s silver, aerodynamically designed uniforms resembled elegant space suits and visually synced with the beautiful styling of the Luna Rossa boat.
2017: HISTORIC RECORD SURPASSED
In 2017, Luna Rossa launched its sixth challenge in the America's Cup, surpassing Sir Thomas Lipton’s historical record of number of challenges.
2018: UNPRECENDENTED BOAT DESIGN
An exciting new class of boat, the AC75, a foiling monohull, the likes of which had never been seen before was announced along with the title event sponsor Prada, setting the foundations of an exciting event in 2021.
2019: PRADA X WOOLMARK
And just as the technical aspects of the boat have advanced, so too has the sailor’s technical clothing. Tested by the best, the performance benefits of Merino wool will combine with Prada’s iconic aesthetic to give the sailors from Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli the competitive edge.
2021: 36TH AMERICA’S CUP
After 10 incredible and hard-fought regattas the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA came to an end with a 7 - 3 score in favour of the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.
2022: LUNA ROSSA PRADA PIRELLI X WOOLMARK REUNITE
The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team once again onboards The Woolmark Company as its technical partner, expanding its Merino wool rich sailing kit to include performance-driven garments for cycling and running training activities.
“Wearing good quality sportswear for a team like Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli means enhancing our performance.”