Live commentary and updates: Day two of the Prada Cup

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Jan 2021, 2:34PM

Live commentary and updates: Day two of the Prada Cup

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Jan 2021, 2:34PM

Follow all the live action from day two of the Prada Cup with AUT's Sailing Professor Mark Orams and follow live commentary with PJ Montgomery below:

All you need to know ahead of day two of the Prada Cup:

After months of drama, controversy and preparation, racing for the America's Cup finally got under way on Friday with the start of the Prada Cup.

And what an opening day of racing it was - with British challenger Ineos Team UK stunning the field with back-to-back victories against American Magic and Luna Rossa, despite their well-documented struggles in the World Series just under a month earlier.

The team's sensational comeback reportedly took a sour turn, however, with Italy's Luna Rossa protesting the British boat over a design technicality.

Reports suggested Luna Rossa potested the Brits' outhaul penetrating the sail skin on their main fairing - a hole in their mainsail - that helps to control the shape of the mainsail. The change was one of several made by Sir Ben Ainslie's team after their disastrous showing in December and while the infringement is considered "minor", Ineos would still need to come up with a solution to fix the issue before their race today.

Race director Iain Murray is hopeful, but not entirely confident there will be a full programme in the Prada Cup on Saturday, however.

Though they will aim for a 3:15pm start, Murray said the most likely scenario was a delay to the beginning of the day's racing as they waited for the wind to build.

The wind prediction models used by the organisers showed there could be between 7 and 9 knots around 3pm on Saturday, but Murray said that looked unlikely given the conditions this morning.

It's hoped the breeze will build later in the afternoon, but racing will be in lighter air than Friday and the currents today are also unfavourable.

Murray has until 6pm to start a race.

If only one race is completed on Saturday, the organisers will shoehorn three races into Sunday's programme.

The minimum wind limit for the Prada Cup racing is 6.5 knots and that threshold has to be reached in a "five-minute window of consistent breeze" before the start.

Racing today will be on a hybrid course, a combination of courses C and D.

The first scheduled race today is between Luna Rossa and American Magic, with the New York based team backing up against Ineos Team UK in the second race.

Organised by the Challenger of Record, the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series will be held in Auckland throughout January and February 2021 to determine which of Luna Rossa, Ineos Team UK and American Magic will take on the defenders Team New Zealand in the 36th America's Cup Match starting on March 6.

The Prada Cup will consist of four round robins of three races each, a seven-race semifinal and a 13-race final between the two leading teams. Each win gets one point.

The highest ranked Challenger at the end of the round robins will be automatically qualified for the Prada Cup final.

The remaining two teams will then race in a seven-race semifinal and the first team who gets four points will qualify for the Prada Cup final.

The Prada Cup final will then determine the Challenger to face Team New Zealand in the America's Cup Match and the winner of the newly minted Prada Cup trophy.


There will be two races per day with the race window between 3pm and 5pm, with the exception of the final where the race window will be between 4pm and 6pm.


First race:
Luna Rossa - $1.85
American Magic - $1.85

TAB odds – Prada Cup winner:
IneosTeam UK – $2.30
American Magic – $2.80
Luna Rossa - $3.20