Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena has delivered a scathing attack on New Zealand's media contingent in the build-up to the start of the America's Cup tomorrow.
At a press conference this morning, Sirena said he was "embarrassed" for some Kiwi journalists, after his team received a negative backlash for wanting to continue Prada Cup final racing despite Auckland going into lockdown.
The Italians had led the final 4-0 over INEOS Team UK when racing was postponed due to Auckland's Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown in mid-February.
Luna Rossa told organisers they wished to continue racing despite the lockdown in order to complete the series by February 24 in accordance with the existing racing conditions.
Their response was met with a heavy backlash, and Sirena today took the chance to fire back at what he considered to be unfair criticism.
"I was pretty upset with a few journalists' comments," Sirena said.
"I was embarrassed that they said we weren't respectful to New Zealand.
"Those people should study a little bit more before talking.
"Whoever is talking like that, I don't even consider these people.
"I'm embarrassed for them, not for me, to be honest."
The America's Cup begins tomorrow afternoon between Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa.