Yachting - Italian skipper Sirena joins New Zealand team

RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE From L to R Emirates Team New Zealand, Team Land Rover BAR Britain, Groupama Team France, Oracle Team USA, Team Artemis Racing Sweden and SoftBank Team Japan compete in the second and last day of races of the 35th America's Cup World Series, in Gothenburg, western Sweden on August 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (AFP Photo/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND)

- Max Sirena, who skippered the Italian challenger team Luna Rossa at the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco, has joined 2017 candidates Emirates Team New Zealand for the competition to held in the Bermudas, it was announced Tuesday. Sirena, 53, will work with the various department heads and the Executive team of the Kiwi outfit, who are one of the favourites to lift the 35th America's Cup, a competition that begun in 1851. "This stresses the sporting and friendly ties of mutual respect that have characterized the relationship between the two teams during over fifteen years, marked by loyal and constructive competition." read a Luna Rossa statement. Emirates Team New Zealand lost the last eight races in the 2013 final, after building an 8-1 lead, to hand the trophy to Oracle Team USA.