Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails Performance 2023 - 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

Cup Spy May 25: Two Tango in Barcelona
Today for the first time in Barcelona two of the AC75 teams lined up against each other Today for the first time in Barcelona two of the AC75 teams lined up against each other in a rules limited way. We didn't learn much. The teams may have learned more, and if so - weren't saying. Posted on 26 May
America's Cup: French reveal their hand
Orient Express Racing Team's AC75 was wheeled out of the shed briefly on Saturday For a rig-stepping test Saturday morning, Orient Express Racing Team's AC75 was wheeled out of the shed briefly during the early hours revealing France's hope for the America's Cup. Posted on 25 May
Cup Spy May 24: Fourth AC75 sailing in Spain
Luna Rossa have made their grand entrance in Spain. French reveal their AC75 raceboat Luna Rossa made their grand entrance onto the 2024 America's Cup stage in Barcelona sailing a three hour session in moderate winds, without incident. The Kiwis were not so fortunate in the AC40s. French reveal their AC75 in Barcelona. Posted on 25 May
Cup Spy May 22-23: UFOs hit AC75s
One and probably two AC75s hit UFOs during race training off Barcelona forcing a return to base Two teams, sailing AC75s are believed to have struck UFOs (unidentified floating objects) over the past two days, forcing them to stop sailing. Posted on 24 May
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ's AC75 departs
'Taihoro' has departed from the Port of Mount Maunganui, destined for the 2024 America's Cup Match Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup Defender 'Taihoro' has departed from the Port of Mount Maunganui, destined for the 2024 America's Cup Match in Barcelona, Spain. The voyage follows in the wake of the America's Cup champion 'Te Rehutai' in 2023. Posted on 24 May
Cup Spy May 21: A productive day on the Med
Three teams sailed on Tuesday - Emirates Team NZ in Auckland, and two AC75 teams in Barcelona Three teams sailed on Tuesday - Emirates Team NZ out of Auckland with their two AC40s and bringing the Youth and Womens crews. In Barcelona, Alinghi Red Bull Racing and American Magic sailed in moderate breezes and flat seas. Posted on 22 May
Puig Women's America's Cup trophy is presented
The trophy for the inaugural Puig Women's America's Cup, has been presented by Puig The trophy for the inaugural Puig Women's America's Cup, has been presented by Puig. The Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola was commissioned to design and shape the trophy for winning team of the Puig Women's America's Cup. Posted on 22 May
Cup Spy May 20: USA has impressive hit-out
Two teams sailed on Monday - Emirates Team NZ out of Auckland and American Magic in Barcelona Two teams sailed on Monday - Emirates Team NZ out of Auckland with their two AC40s and bringing the Youth and Womens crews some on the water experience. American Magic had a solid session sailing off Barcelona in winds gusting 20 kts and 1mtr seas. Posted on 22 May
Cup Spy May 18: Brits test new cyclor
The Brits were the only team to sail AC75s or paired AC40s over the weekend The Brits were the only team to sail AC75s or paired AC40s over the weekend. INEOS Britannia sailed their newly christened AC75, with team principal Jim Ratcliffe, a keen cyclist, aboard and functioning as one of the four cyclors onboard. Posted on 20 May
Cup Spy May 17: Good numbers at last
Teams get a good workout on a day blessed with a solid sailing breeze, in Barcelona and Auckland Two teams(USA and GBR) sailed AC75s on Friday out of Barcelona, on a day blessed with a good solid sailing breeze. ETNZ sailed both their AC40s in contested training for all three sailing squads - Womens, Youth and Defence. Posted on 20 May
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER2024 fill-in (bottom)North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER