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And Now the Italians Are Sailin’ In

The Italian sailing team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 announced that it will be based in Alameda for the 34th America’s Cup this summer. The news comes just four days after Swedish team Artemis Racing staged a major community event at the Alameda Theatre to highlight its activities on the Island as the official Challenger of Record against Oracle Team USA.

According to the Alameda Journal’s Peter Hagarty, Luna Rossa (“red moon” in Italian) is leasing a 65,400-square-foot former aircraft hangar for the next seven months.

On Tuesday, the City Council will considering extending Artemis’ lease at Alameda Point, which includes the rental of a 110,561-square-foot former hangar, 22,604 square feet of former aircraft taxiway and portions of the Seaplane Lagoon. (The city struck a deal the Navy over lagoon access.)

The base monthly rent for Artemis is $23,400 through May and $25,000 each month after that. If the team decides to stop using the taxiway or lagoon, the monthly rent drops to $21,600.

The Italian team seems to have some deep pockets to cover the Alameda Point rent. Its sponsor, Prada, reportedly plans to invest $55.2 million in the America’s Cup effort.

At Thursday’s event at the Alameda Theatre, presenters highlighted one of Alameda’s many advantages: work on the AC72 catamarans — including their 130-foot-long wing sails — can go on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In San Francisco, work must stop at about 10 p.m. and can only resume at roughly 7 a.m.

Team Artemis says it is bringing about 130 team and family members, including a design group, to the Island to support its efforts.

For information on Alameda and the America’s Cup, go to a website created by local residents, or visit the city’s website about the event.

Janet Levaux