On day 3 of the Prada Cup Final, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and INEOS Team UK battled it out once more to earn the coveted title and secure a spot in the America’s Cup, facing off against the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand.
Prada Cup Final – Race 5
Current: 0.2 knots @ 353
Winner: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli – 1:20
PRADA Cup Final – Race 6
Current: 0.2 knots @ 353
Wind: 8-12knots 225 degrees
Winner: INEOS TEAM UK – 0:14
Prada Cup Finals Race 5 – In the fifth race of the Prada Cup Finals, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli resumed where they left off last weekend, taking the lead at the start and holding off the British team to secure a crucial fifth point. However, in the second race, Ben Ainslie and his team executed their game plan to perfection, earning a convincing win.
The Italians are only two wins away from claiming the PRADA Cup, but the British are not backing down. With both teams displaying comparable boat speeds, the pre-start maneuvering became the deciding factor in the race. The team that secured an early advantage had the best chance of finishing first.
Prada Cup Finals Race 6 – The second race of the day saw an increase in the breeze, giving INEOS TEAM UK an advantage as they took control of the pre-start zone. The positions were reversed from the first race, with Luna Rossa to windward and INEOS TEAM UK to leeward and ahead. Despite Luna Rossa’s aggressive maneuvers, INEOS TEAM UK was able to secure a narrow lead at the start and push out to the extreme left-hand side of the course after bagging the left-hand end of the line.
The crucial moment came as both boats headed towards the left-hand boundary. Luna Rossa tacked off early, allowing INEOS TEAM UK to continue out to the extreme side of the course. The pair were neck and neck as they headed back towards the right.
As Luna Rossa came back on starboard, INEOS TEAM UK chose to tack onto starboard underneath them to bounce off the Italians, executing a classic lee bow tack. As they approached the top gate for the first time, INEOS TEAM UK had gained a lead of around 50 meters.
However, the race was far from over. A shift in the breeze and a drop in its strength allowed Luna Rossa to make gains on the final upwind leg, putting INEOS TEAM UK back under pressure. As they went through the final gate, INEOS TEAM UK took the right-hand mark and Luna Rossa took the left. The distance between them was now just 9 seconds, setting up a drag race to the finish line. The British had to defend their position as Luna Rossa launched a final attack.
Stay tuned for the races on February 21st, where two races are planned, weather permitting. The Prada Cup Final is a best-of-13 series, with the first team to reach seven wins advancing to the America’s Cup Match and facing off against the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand on March 6th.