Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and INEOS Team UK squared off again to determine the winner on day 3 of the Prada Cup Final and the right to face the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup.
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 first race of the day, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli resumed racing where it was left last weekend, getting their nose in front at the start and kept the British in their wake to claim a vital fifth point. However, in the second race, Ben Ainslie got his hands on the textbook finally and executed the same game plan to take a convincing first point.
Two more wins are all will take for the Italians to take the PRADA Cup, but the British team will not give up without a fight. With the teams having pretty even boat speeds, the pre-start became the key moment of the whole race, the boat that started ahead was most likely to finish ahead.
Prada Cup Finals Race 6 – For the second race of the day the breeze had increased slightly. INEOS TEAM UK was first into the pre-start zone and was able to control the start more readily. Two small advantages, but would the British team be able to convert these into an advantage at the start?
As both boats headed towards the start line, positions were reversed from the first start of the day, Luna Rossa was to windward this time with INEOS TEAM UK to leeward and ahead. Despite some aggressive maneuvering aboard Luna Rossa, INEOS TEAM UK took a narrow advantage at the start, bagging the left-hand end of the line and now able to push out to the extreme left-hand side of the course.
The crucial moment was coming up as both headed out towards the left hand boundary. Luna Rossa tacked off early allowing the British to continue out to the extreme side of the left hand 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 was ahead on port but chose to tack onto starboard underneath them to bounce off the Italians, a classic lee bow tack. As they approached the top gate for the first time the pair were now separated across the width of the course and it was INEOS TEAM UK that had gained, the distance between them around 50 meaters.
But this 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. INEOS TEAM UK was back under pressure. Through the final gate INEOS TEAM UK took the right-hand mark, Luna Rossa the left, and the distance between them was now just 9secs. Now it was a drag race to the finish, the British needed to defend their position as Luna Rossa attacked.
Races will resume on the 21st of February, two races are planned, weather permitting. The Prada Cup Final is a best-of-13 series with the first team reaching seven race wins to advance to the America’s Cup Match and face the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand on the 6th of March.