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Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli at PRADA America's Cup World Series Auckland - Day 3

by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team 19 Dec 2020 01:17 PST 17-20 December 2020
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli on day 3 of PRADA ACWS Auckland © Carlo Borlenghi

With the last day of the Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland the two round robins come to an end, with a total of 12 races, in which all the teams raced against each other twice.

The regattas took place in the channel between Rangitoto island and the coast, in an area halfway between racecourse B and C, that was used in the previous days.

Iain Murray was obliged to postpone the start racing for over an hour while waiting for wind from the north to stabilize on the field.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli raced in 2 regattas. The first, shortened to the final upwind gate, was against Ineos team UK, where Luna Rossa took the win with a lead of over two laps. The second race, the last of the day, against Emirates Team New Zealand, gave way to a succession of thrilling twists and turns, with the closest racing that had yet been seen in this series.

The team closes this first event in third place in the overall ranking. This is how the schedule of tomorrow's PRADA Christmas Race will be outlined, where we will see Emirates Team New Zealand against INEOS Team UK and American Magic against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, competing for the final.

RACE 9 Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team vs Ineos Team UK

A significant wind shift forces regatta director Iain Murray to postpone race 9 for about an hour in order to rotate the course. Luna Rossa starts on port and to the right side of the box, taking a fast start on the committee boat side and windward of Ineos Team UK. On the first upwind Luna Rossa starts to extend her lead, rounding the first mark 30 seconds ahead. This lead increases, leg after leg, with Luna Rossa rounding the marks at speed and never getting off the foils. The race is reduced to a finish after 5 legs, at the final upwind gate, where Luna Rossa crosses the finish line two legs in front of the British boat.

RACE 12 Emirates Team New Zealand vs Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team

In the second regatta, Luna Rossa takes a good start and is the lead for the first leg, rounding the first gate 32 seconds in front. However, the wind at the windward gate dies down, in the shadow cone of Rangitoto island. Luna Rossa is stuck in a hole to the right of the field. The New Zealanders reach the mark, also penalized by the wind drop, rounding the buoy and falling off the foils. After two endless minutes the boats manage to pick up speed. Emirates Team New Zealand gets into the pressure first and at that point quickly gains a 500-meter lead. Despite the penalty for crossing the boundary, Luna Rossa manages to gain some distance and move to within a few meters of the New Zealanders. It is a regatta played between the air holes and a constant search for balance on the foils. Emirates New Zealand wins this race and also wins the PRADA America's Cup World Series.

Jimmy Spithill, helmsman:

"We had a good day today, with two races. The first one was pretty convincing, we had quite a big speed edge over the British. In the second race, we had a pretty good battle with the kiwis, we had a good start, a good lead. Unfortunately, we started getting in lighter winds, fell off the foils, and it just took a little while to get going again, and they were able to pass us. But from then on it was actually a pretty close race, and they ended up shortening the course. But it was a great race. We've got a lot of work to do for the PRADA cup, there's not doubt about it. Kiwi has a significant edge in quite a big wind range, but we don't need to worry about them for a little while, we've have to worry about the PRADA Cup."

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