You won't hear Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena referring to his new America's Cup boat as "she".
The reason? Simply take a look, says the Italian who's been around the Cup scene since 2000.
"He's a beast . . . a real beast," Sirena chuckles, describing the monster silver and red catamaran launched in Auckland on Friday night.
And Sirena can't wait to try to tame "the beast".
"I'm like a child with a new toy. You know, a child wants to play with that toy straight away."
Weather permitting, that starts on Wednesday but Sirena knows he'll have to take a softly-softly approach, wary of the problems that have plagued Cup holders Oracle and Swedish challengers Artemis.
Sirena says Team New Zealand, their partners for technology, design and training, have shown the way.
Sirena is full of respect for Team New Zealand but believes that's a mutual feeling. He has known Kiwi boss Grant Dalton for many years and has struck up a strong friendship.
Their relationship sums up the interesting dynamics that exist between the two syndicates, who believe a way of managing the ridiculous budgets involved is to work together.
Design sharing has cut costs and only through testing their boats against each other in Auckland can they achieve the gains they hope will bring success when they transfer to the real arena in San Francisco, where the Louis Vuitton challenger series starts in June and the America's Cup is contested in September.
As Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli explains: "It was too late to design a yacht on our own and get it going.
"To have two identical boats testing against each other is mutually beneficial. To have two boats trialling in isolation would have been impossible."
- © Fairfax NZ News