Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - LEADERBOARD

The best race of the PRADA Cup so far!

by Mark Jardine 23 Jan 05:01 GMT 23 January 2021
PRADA Cup Round Robin 3 - INEOS TEAM UK vs Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

For those who got up early in the UK to watch the match-up between INEOS TEAM UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, it was nail-biting and agonising, with the anticipation only built by the repeated delays.

On the shifty Course C, Race Officer Iain Murray was forced to reset the race track multiple times and then Ben Ainslie called for a 15-minute delay, a request they can make once per Round Robin, to try and fix an issue with their cunningham hydraulics. With a clear problem, the British team chose to fix their cunningham at around 80%, an obvious disadvantage on these ultimate extreme racing machines.

The start was close with Luna Rossa having to bear away in the final few seconds, putting both teams right on the line and giving us the closest racing yet between these AC75 yachts. So close in fact that Luna Rossa called for penalties twice on the first beat, both denied by the umpires.

The racing was fantastic with multiple lead changes and being in phase with the wind shifts absolutely key. INEOS TEAM UK led by 2 seconds at the windward gate, then 9 seconds at the leeward gate, hitting a peak of 50.29 knots. Luna Rossa called the shifts perfectly on the second beat to take a (relatively) massive 19 second lead, only for INEOS TEAM UK to smoke the downwind leg to cut the lead to 10 seconds.

Ben and Giles worked in perfect unison to eek out a one second lead at the final windward mark and then just made it across Luna Rossa on the first cross of the final leg. With INEOS TEAM UK gybing onto port for the finish line, it all came down to a port-starboard cross to decide if INEOS TEAM UK would make it straight through to the final of the PRADA Cup. The Italian team tried to work down to force the penalty but, Richard Slater and his umpire team were quick to make the No Penalty decision.

The BRITANNIA crew were naturally elated as they crossed the finish line, but quickly calmed down by Ben Ainslie. The 33-second winning margin not reflective of a race with nine lead changes. Easily the best race of this America's Cup and possibly one of the all-time classics.

As Ben said post-race, "That was one for the fans!"

Related Articles

AC36: AI, RL, TLA, ETNZ, LRPP
There's a wee event happening across The Ditch (Tasman Sea) next week Now there's a wee event happening across 'The Ditch' (Tasman Sea) next week. So I certainly enjoyed writing from the armchair a little while ago, and whilst on that, thanks very much to all of you who read it all around the globe Posted on 5 Mar
Are hybrid boat shows the way forwards?
Positive at the virtual RYA Dinghy Show, but a new portmanteau needed! I've talked to various people during and since the virtual RYA Dinghy Show and all so far are hailing it as a success. In the UK, the Dinghy Show is the start of the sailing season, and to simply not hold the event would have been a grave mistake. Posted on 2 Mar
Playing the long game
As a Brit I'm of course sad that INEOS TEAM UK didn't progress to the America's Cup match As a Brit I'm of course sad that INEOS TEAM UK didn't progress to the America's Cup match. I'd have loved to see Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott square up against Pete Burling, Blair Tuke and the rest of Emirates Team New Zealand, but it wasn't to be. Posted on 23 Feb
Modes and Moods
Nothing beats that feeling when you know you're quicker There are many sailing phrases: high and fast, low and slow, tweak it up a bit, glamourous, in the groove, climbing off them, falling into the dirt. Nothing beats that feeling when you know you're quicker. Posted on 21 Feb
You must win the start!
It's a golden rule of Match Racing and much of your race can be defined by it It's a golden rule of Match Racing and much of your race can be defined by it. Win the start and you've a good chance of winning the race. Posted on 20 Feb
The John Westell Centenary pt.3
A crown made for sailing: The action out afloat and ashore hots up In this the third video charting the life and the boats of John Westell, the action out afloat and ashore hots up. However, at the same time, the timescales are getting compressed, with this video covering the period of just a year. Posted on 18 Feb
America's Cup: From the armchair...
Generally not the best place for AC75 analysis, which can get tricky, but here goes... Generally not the best place for AC75 analysis, which can get tricky, but here goes... Posted on 14 Feb
Sailing dynamite
A day for the match racing purists Many of the America's Cup traditionalists have derided the foiling revolution, vocally saying the speed of the yacht isn't important, it's all about close, tight racing. Right now, that viewpoint seems redundant. Posted on 14 Feb
Body Battery
I've been a bit of a luddite when it comes to fitness tracking I've been a bit of a luddite when it comes to fitness tracking and smart watches, for many years just 'going with the flow' on my morning runs, going out sailing and, more often than not, recharging my batteries with a beer. Posted on 8 Feb
REPAIR-REWEAR: Henri-Lloyd Repair Service
Extend the life of your technical clothing, reduce your environmental footprint Extend the life of your technical clothing, reduce your environmental footprint. Posted on 5 Feb