Please select your home edition
Visit Pensacola 2023 LEADERBOARD

INEOS TEAM UK's 36th America's Cup campaign ends in PRADA Cup Final

by INEOS TEAM UK 20 Feb 2021 23:24 PST 21 February 2021
INEOS TEAM UK bow out of the PRADA Cup © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

After four years of dedication, hard work, grit and hundreds of thousands of man hours from the 100+ strong team, INEOS TEAM UK's 36th America's Cup campaign came to an end today as Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli won both races in light wind in Race Day 4 of the PRADA Cup Final to win the series 7-1.

Racing took place on Course A, the most northerly course on the Hauraki Gulf, the furthest away course from any land mass, ensuring for a steady breeze and lack of shifts.

Speaking after the day's action Ben Ainslie said:

"Firstly, I have to say well done to Luna Rossa and well done to Italy. It's a big deal in Italy getting to the America's Cup Match again. Congratulations to Jimmy [Spithill], Cecco [Francesco Bruni] and the whole team. They had the better overall package across the range of wind conditions and deserved to take the Final.

"Of course, we are disappointed, but I could not be prouder of the team and how they have dealt with the challenges we have faced over the past four years, and especially since we've been here in New Zealand. Every single person in this team worked incredibly hard to turn things around from where we were before Christmas to make the PRADA Cup Final and I'm really proud of that.

"This is a people game and so many people in this organisation have grown massively over the past four years. We've learnt a huge amount throughout this campaign and now we need to go back and analyse where we didn't get it quite right. You look at Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand and they have been in this game 20 and 30 years respectively. That learning and development is key.

"Our backers Jim, John and Andy, the INEOS owners, and the whole of the INEOS group, have been amazing too. It's been fascinating for us to be alongside some incredible sports teams and high performers like the Grenadiers, the cycling team, the Mercedes F1 team and Eliud Kipchoge.

"With INEOS it's not just the financial backing, it's the approach they take to business and why they are so successful. It's that attention to detail, rigour and determination that we share in the sporting world. They have been amazing backers and partners and we can't give them enough thanks for that over the past four years."

"Finally, the support of our families here in Auckland and everyone back home really drove us on, we are just sorry we couldn't bring it home for you.

"We started this team in 2014 with the goal to bring the America's Cup back to Britain and as far as we're concerned, we still need to get the job done."

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS said:

"INEOS is very proud to have been a part of this unique and special America's Cup. We are hugely proud of the whole of INEOS TEAM UK who kept fighting to the end. It's been a thrilling spectacle to see these AC75 yachts in competitive action.

"We would particularly like to offer our heartfelt thanks to the people of New Zealand who have welcomed us to their beautiful country and put on an event of unparalleled professionalism in the midst of a global pandemic. We have memories that will stay with us forever."

Race 7 - INEOS TEAM UK vs. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli WIN (Delta +1:45)

With a steady north-easterly breeze of 10-12 knots ahead of the pre-start, the team on BRITANNIA opted for the J3 headsail, the third largest jib.

A well-executed pre-start, with ITA not engaging the British boat, gave GBR the advantage over the start-line to leeward. Very quickly on the first leg, however, the wind dropped to a light 8-9 knots and the Italian outfit quickly demonstrated their advantage over GBR in the lighter end of the spectrum.

With both teams heading to the left-hand boundary on starboard, ITA were in a difficult position to windward. The Italians, however, had the extra high mode in the light wind and as both teams tacked on the boundary, ITA were still on leeward but now had the lead.

From then on, in a steady 8-10 light breeze throughout the race over Course A, Luna Rossa capitalised on their light air boat speed advantage over INEOS TEAM UK and controlled the race. A 16 second lead at the first top gate was quickly extended to a 1:07 lead at the second top gate. The final delta was 1:45.

Race 8 - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli WIN vs. INEOS TEAM UK (Delta + 0:56)

The wind remained light going into the second race of the day, with INEOS TEAM UK opting to switch to a larger jib, their J2.

It was another well-executed pre-start for GBR. This time a more aggressive strategy forced ITA into a penalty for crossing the start early which gave GBR the lead at the first cross. Very quickly, however, the Italians superior manoeuvrability in the lighter wind paid dividends for them again. By the second cross ITA had the lead and they crossed the first gate with a marginal 12 second lead. "We're going to have to do something special here Gilo" was the message from BRITANNIA's Skipper Ben Ainslie to Tactician Giles Scott, as the Italians' light wind advantage was clear again, gaining in every manoeuvre.

For the remaining of what would prove to be INEOS TEAM UK's final race in the PRADA Cup, ITA did not make any mistakes and maintained their lead throughout with a final delta of 56 seconds.

Related Articles

INEOS Britannia announce Race Crew
For the America's Cup Preliminary Regatta in Vilanova i La Geltrú It's been over two and a half years since the shutters came down on the racing in Auckland for the 36th America's Cup, but the show's back on the road with the first of three Preliminary Regattas set to start on the 14th September. Posted on 13 Sep
INEOS Britannia take flight in Barcelona
Beginning sailing operations in Barcelona using their one design AC40 race boat The team's Barcelona base is already fully operational and, with equipment and people arriving daily over the past few weeks, the buzz and excitement has been building towards this moment; as the team took to the water at the AC37 venue. Posted on 25 Jul
Dylan Fletcher joins INEOS Britannia
The newest recruit to the sailing team Meet Dylan Fletcher, the newest recruit to INEOS Britannia's sailing team. Fletcher is an Olympic Champion in the Men's Skiff - 49er, winning at Tokyo 2020, as well as a three-time world champion in this discipline. Posted on 21 Mar
INEOS Team UK respect ACE position on Prada Cup
INEOS Team UK respect the decision communicated by ACE to delay the Prada Cup racing INEOS Team UK respect the decision communicated by ACE to delay the Prada Cup racing due to the current (SW: then Level 3, now Level 2) COVID-19 alert level in Auckland. Posted on 17 Feb 2021
Five out of five for INEOS TEAM UK
And into the PRADA Cup final With the Americans still in the shed getting ready for the Repechage, INEOS TEAM UK and LUNA ROSSA PRADA PIRELLI headed out onto the stadium course on the Hauraki Gulf for the penultimate day of the Round Robin stage of the PRADA Challenger Series. Posted on 23 Jan 2021
INEOS TEAM UK at the PRADA Cup Day 3
An eventful day on the Hauraki Gulf In a day that was saddened by the capsize of American Magic, the changeable weather on the Hauraki Gulf threw strong winds, shifts, rain and chop at the Challengers of the PRADA Cup. Posted on 17 Jan 2021
INEOS TEAM UK at the PRADA Cup Day 2
Staying on the foils to win in light winds The second day of the PRADA Cup Challenger Series brought very different conditions. Staying on the foils and picking the shifts were the themes of the day. Posted on 16 Jan 2021
INEOS TEAM UK at the PRADA Cup Day 1
Improved team performance leads to two opening wins The challenge for the 36th America's Cup officially began today with the start of the PRADA Cup, the Challenger Selection Series. The opening day of racing saw INEOS TEAM UK win both their races in perfect conditions on the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Posted on 15 Jan 2021
Racing begins, development continues
INEOS TEAM UK set as the PRADA Cup begins tomorrow in Auckland INEOS TEAM UK's challenge for the 36th America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, begins in earnest tomorrow with the PRADA Cup, the Challenger Selection Series. Posted on 14 Jan 2021
INEOS TEAM UK push to the leading edge of design
With Mercedes F1 Applied Science The 36th America's Cup is just around the corner and INEOS TEAM UK have recently launched their AC75 race boat 'BRITANNIA' in the host city of Auckland, with the design raising plenty of talking points on the dock and online. Posted on 29 Oct 2020
Marine Resources 2022 - FOOTERJ Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 Bottom