A DAY OF UPS AND DOWNS
PRADA CUP : DAY DAY
WORDS: TONY ROBERTS
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF INEOS TEAM UK
Luna Rossa score a point while American Magic suffer in challenging conditions.
Day two of the Prada Cup witnessed all three teams out on the water again with the New York Yacht Club on double race duty as the first round robin ends and the second begins. With a 8 - 12 knot wind speed all three AC75's struggled to lift onto their foils. The first race of the day featured the regular six legs with the Italians out on the course first taking on their American counterparts while the second race only featured four legs due to the lack of wind speed.
Round Robin One: Race Three
NEW YORK YACHT CLUB American Magic v LUNA ROSSO PRADA PIRELLI TEAM
Current: 1.1 knots @ 336
Wind: 8 - 14 knots
Winner: Luna Rossa
Winning Margin: American Magic DNF
With less than two minutes before the start of the race both Luna Rossa and American Magic struggled to keep on their foils and as the claxon sounded to start the days opening race American Magic lowered itself into the water unable to keep its momentum. Somehow with less than thirty seconds to go Luna Rossa managed to get up and start pulling away from the American team. Eventually American Magic lifted out of the water but were already 250 metres behind Luna Rossa.
After rounding the first gate Luna Rossa started to receive critical knot numbers as both boats struggled to keep aloft,
The Italians held steady to stay with what little breeze they could find and cross the finish line within the forty five minute race time limit. Francesco Bruni confirming what everyone witnessed saying it was a very challenging day but they were very happy.
With one race sailed and one still to run the points board was occupied by INEOS TEAM UK and LUNA ROSSA with Dean Barkers squad yet to score a point.
Round Robin Two: Race One
NEW YORK YACHT CLUB American Magic v INEOS TEAM UK Britannia
Course: C & D
Current: 0.4 knots @ 337
Wind: 8 - 12 knots
Race one of the second of four round robins witnessed American Magic take on INEOS Team UK in what turned out to be a four leg race due to the challenging conditions. Dean Barkers squad started the race on their back foot after receiving a penalty ahead of the start of the race after.
Heading towards the first gate the current points leader fell victim to the lack of wind with Britannia lowering itself into the water and coasting around the top gate. With boat speeds down to 4 - 8 knots, Britannia inched their way down leg two before taking to their foils for a brief moment before returning the their displacement mode. Somehow both teams found some breeze which enabled them to pick themselves out of the water and head to the second gate. From there both teams had to find a way around the course avoiding any light wind patches.
INEOS Team UK managed to cross the finish line with two minutes left on the clock to take their third win of the PRADA Cup.
Sir Ben said this after the days event unfolded;
“It was a tough race given what’s at stake. It was toughest for the grinders, they worked hard the whole time, as today it was much more intense to try and keep the boat on the foils. On every manoeuvre, if you come off the foils, that might be the end of the race. The guys did a great job handling the boat and also did Giles trying to find the little breeze that it was.
I’m not sure today is an accurate read of our performance because it was so puffy, so shifty, and it was really about just trying to stay in the pressure. We are still not sure with light winds how we stake up, but it’s definitely a huge improvement from where we were three weeks ago. We will see how we go as we get further in the competition, we will keep pushing.”