World media reacts to 'remarkable' Prada Cup upset

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Jan 2021, 12:30PM
Team UK blow by Luna Rossa in race two of the opening day of the Prada Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Team UK blow by Luna Rossa in race two of the opening day of the Prada Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs

World media reacts to 'remarkable' Prada Cup upset

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Jan 2021, 12:30PM

The first day of racing in the Prada Cup has sparked global praise for the stunning performance of Ineos Team UK.

Media around the world expressed their surprise at the sudden rise to dominance from a boat that languished behind all-comers in racing held in the same waters late last year.

After beating American Magic by 80 seconds in the opening race of the day, they repeated the dose against Luna Rossa in race two, with their 28-second win seeing them take two points from the day and leaving their opponents yet to get off the mark.

These were the first victories by Team UK in any official races.

French website LeTelegramme was concise and resounding in its praise for the comeback performance.

"The English dominated everyone: better at the start stages, fast in speed and inspired in tactics, Ainslie's men showed a different face."

Popular sailing blog Scuttlebutt mused that the wins were no fluke, saying: "After a complete overhaul in which they changed their mast, sails, and foils, the British team now appear to be for real."

New agency AP similarly complimented the British boat as a legitimate threat to its rivals while the Yachtracing Life blog said the wins were "remarkable" and "stunning" and pulled off by a "transformed British crew".

"Feverish work by the British team's shore crew over the last month produced a quantum leap in Britannia's performance and the lame duck, which couldn't get up on its foils in the light winds of the World Series, became a flying machine in the 10 to 14 knot winds in which Friday's races were contested," AP said in its race report.

"Britannia was clearly faster than Patriot on Friday but it was also superbly sailed by Ainslee and by tactician Giles Scott"

Team UK skipper Ben Ainslee. Photo / PhotosportTeam UK skipper Ben Ainslee. Photo / Photosport

Meanwhile, Italian news service LiveMedia24 was of the opinion that the Luna Rossa boat was the most competitive of the day's losers.

"The English boat surprised with its extreme manoeuvrability and the ease with which the crew manoeuvred the hull.

"A substantially balanced race where Luna Rossa, unlike American Magic, did not sink under the blows of the English."

Finally, while news website voilesetvoiliers.ouest-france paid tribute to Britannia's pace in Friday's conditions, it cast doubt on whether it would be capable of performing just as well in lighter winds.

"The English have returned to the game by dint of enormous work, but it remains to be seen whether this progression also concerns light winds."

Ineos Team UK will race just once today, against American Magic, in conditions expected to immediately test that theory - light winds between seven and nine knots, with unfavourable currents.

Heading into the Cup racing?

• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.

• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride.

• Don't forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America's Cup Village.

• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.