Please select your home edition
Edition
McConaghy Boats 2021 - LEADERBOARD

PATRIOT splits races 1-1 with Luna Rossa on day 2 of ACWS Auckland

by NYYC American Magic 18 Dec 2020 01:35 PST 17-19 December 2020
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli vs New York Yacht Club American Magic on day 2 of PRADA ACWS Auckland © Sailing Energy / American Magic

Day 2 of the Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland saw two gripping races between New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, and Italy's Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, the Challenger of Record.

Both races featured hotly contested pre-starts, penalties, tacking duels, and unpredictable maneuvers. In the 10-15 knots of breeze present on Course C throughout the day, the two teams appeared closely matched in terms of speed and execution.

Luna Rossa took the win in Race 5 by a margin of 12 seconds, with American Magic bouncing back with a 30-second win in Race 7.

Race 5: American Magic vs. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli

In the pre-start, Luna Rossa was penalized for entering the starting box too early, giving American Magic an early advantage. A left shift just before the start led PATRIOT, the U.S. AC75, and her opponent to start the race on port tack. Shortly after Luna Rossa cleared its penalty, PATRIOT tacked onto starboard and crossed the bow of the Italians.

As American Magic tacked back onto port to cover Luna Rossa, PATRIOT's port-side foil arm failed to lift quickly enough from its lowered position, depriving the dark blue AC75 of crucial windward ballast as her sails began to generate power on the new tack. PATRIOT heeled hard to leeward and fell off her starboard-side foil, leaving American Magic in displacement mode while Luna Rossa sprinted clear of the U.S. boat and built a significant lead up the first beat.

"The [board up] button was pressed, and the board didn't come up," said mainsheet trimmer Paul Goodison. "Luckily, we have alternate buttons that we can press to also raise the board, so in the end we managed to raise the board correctly, but it was a bit late. Then we're in the water and we had some catching up to do."

At the first windward mark, PATRIOT and the Americans found themselves over 700 meters astern of Luna Rossa. Nevertheless, the second leg saw an impressive comeback by the U.S. Challenger. With smooth gybes and good course management, the team closed the gap to roughly 12 seconds at the first downwind gate.

Despite regular and close action between the boats, PATRIOT could not find a passing lane on the subsequent legs. At the final leeward gate, American Magic was forced to execute an extra gybe just before rounding. Luna Rossa was able to sail less distance through the rounding maneuver, and opened up a lead of several hundred meters.

The final downwind leg saw yet another comeback by American Magic, and while PATRIOT was able to close the gap to 12 seconds and a few boat lengths, the American team came up just short at the finish.

"We just didn't come up out of the tack, and unfortunately, that kind of put us on the back foot," said Dean Barker, helmsman for American Magic. "It was really impressive how well we got back into the race a couple of times. We kept coming back at them, so I think we have a lot of positives to take out it, but [it was] frustrating not to get the win."

Race 7: American Magic vs. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli

The second contest of the day between American Magic and Luna Rossa involved a multi-penalty pre-start reminiscent of previous Cups involving monohulls. Luna Rossa again was penalized for an early start box entry, which co-helmsman James Spithill later attributed to incorrect timing information from the race management system being sent to the Italian yacht.

Luna Rossa managed to clear their penalty against American Magic in the pre-start, but in doing so fell off their foils, allowing Barker and PATRIOT to strike back and score a penalty against the Italians and cruise off the starting line in a commanding position. After the first upwind leg, PATRIOT was over 300 meters ahead.

"[The Race 7 pre-start was] a bit like the old-school days," said Barker. "There was quite a lot going on, as normal. It's what we've been practicing, but in saying that it's nice to have a bit of variation. This is all about learning for the Prada Cup, and it's nice to learn some of these lessons now."

The rest of the race was a taught contest that saw American Magic often making minor gains downwind, and the Italians earning equally minor gains upwind.The U.S. Challenger worked hard to keep close tabs on their opponent on the upwind legs, and multiple tacking duels occurred.

American Magic never relinquished their lead, but there were some tense moments as Luna Rossa's deficit dwindled to as little as 5 seconds. PATRIOT's final margin of victory was 30 seconds, bringing the team to 3-1 overall at the Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland.

"The course is very challenging. You are never quite sure how much leverage to take, but they never went away and made it a very exciting race," said Barker post-race.

Related Articles

Brad Butterworth on winning four America's Cups
Shirley Robertson's talks with one of the most successful tacticians of the modern era From the America's Cup to the Whitbread, the Admirals Cup to the Sydney Hobart, NZ's Brad Butterworth has been at the sharp end of competitive sailing for his entire adult life, and has a grand prix sailing CV few could match. Posted on 9 Jun
America's Cup: Board Chairman Tindall exits ETNZ
Sir Stephen Tindall is retiring as Chairman and Director of the Board of Emirates Team Sir Stephen Tindall is retiring as Chairman and Director of the Board of Emirates Team New Zealand after a long and successful tenure as Director of the four times America's Cup winning team. Posted on 4 Jun
Cup holders tightlipped on $100m package rejection
Emirates Team NZ have refused to comment specifically on media reports of a $100million package clai Emirates Team NZ have refused to comment specifically on media reports of a $100million package claimed to have been rejected by the team. In a later story the Auckland Mayor has elaborated on the previously unattributed claims. Posted on 2 Jun
America's Cup: PJ on 50 years of commentary
PJ Montgomery has commentated all the major yachting events involving NZ the last 50 years Peter Montgomery is known internationally as the Voice of the America's Cup. He has commentated on the last 13 editions, starting in 1980, of the America's Cup including live commentary on every America's Cup race in which New Zealand has competed. Posted on 24 May
America's Cup: Defender rebuffs NYYC overtures
The America's Cup Defenders and Challenger of Record have rebuffed NYYC's Challenge Unsurprisingly, the America's Cup Defenders, along with the Challenger of Record, have rebuffed the surprise Challenge lodged by the New York Yacht Club, on May 6, and announced earlier today. Posted on 9 May
Gladwell's Line: Pressing ignition on pro-sailing
The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage by COVID The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage to the COVID pandemic - here's a look at how SailGP and the America's Cup coped, plus the 2024 Olympic event quandary. Posted on 6 May
American Magic ready to sail with 7-8 days notice
American Magic's Terry Hutchinson says they are all ready to go sailing at 7-8 days notice American Magic's Terry Hutchinson says the AC36 Challenger are all packed and ready to go sailing at 7-8 days notice, if the next venue is Auckland, otherwise they will head back to the USA. Posted on 3 May
SailGP Bermuda: Dramatic onboard collision video
Dramatic video footage shot from on-board Japan SailGP as their courses intersected with USA SailGP Dramatic video footage shot from on-board Japan SailGP as their courses intersected with USA SailGP on Leg 3 of Race 4 of Day 2 of SailGP Bermuda. Nathan Outteridge describes how it unfolded. Posted on 26 Apr
ACHof: Induction of Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird
America's Cup Hall of Fame: Induction of Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird On March 19, 2021, just a couple of days after the Emirates Team New Zealand successfully defended the America's Cup, the America's Cup Hall of Fame held an Induction Ceremony to welcome broadcaster PJ Montgomery and America's Cup winner Ed Baird Posted on 22 Apr
America's Cup: Luna Rossa's control systems outed
AC36 Challenger Luna Rossa explain how their systems work and the rules that govern their use Handling a boat like the AC75 requires the use of sophisticated management and control systems actioning a compact network of valves and pistons. Here Luna Rossa explain how their systems work and the rules that govern their use Posted on 14 Apr
USA Fusion ARX Remote 728x90px BOTTOMRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER