Heather du Plessis-Allan: Luna Rossa has every right to say no to a delay

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Feb 2021, 4:31PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Luna Rossa has every right to say no to a delay

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Feb 2021, 4:31PM

I think it’s been incredibly unfair on Luna Rossa that they’re being painted as the bad guys simply because they want to stick to the original Prada cup racing schedule.  

If you haven’t caught up on this, a massive row has broken out over whether the Prada Cup should resume this week now that Auckland’s out of lockdown. 

America’s Cup Events - who are in charge of the racing - are trying to force Luna Rossa to accept a delay, but Luna Rossa won’t, and so the hosts are now resorting to packing a public tanty, accusing Luna Rossa of being  ‘inflexible’ and essentially not showing “honour and respect” for New Zealand which is obviously complete melodrama.  

The problem is that the rules say racing is supposed to happen this week, but because Auckland is still in level 2, they won’t be able to have crowds at the water and in the city’s bars and restaurants.  A delay of a week might mean we’re back in level 1 and crowds can enjoy it properly.  

I have sympathy for that argument, but that is not actually Luna Rossa’s problem 

They might feel for the crowds and the hospitality industry who are doing it tough – and I hope they do – but they are not here to boost Auckland’s economy.  They are here to win the race.

And it is to their advantage to stick to the schedule. They are winning 4 nil.  They only need to win three more races to claim the cup. 

They have momentum at the moment, apparently there are forecast light winds this week which favours them, and every day that racing is delayed is a day the UK guys can use to tweak their poor performance and their boat and maybe become competitive. 

Obviously team UK want delays.  It gives them time to improve.

Obviously the hosts want delays. If they can show that the event helped local hospo businesses it surely justifies the 250 million taxpayer dollars ploughed into hosting the cup and might make it easier to convince the government to do it next time again.  

But that’s the host’s problem, not Luna Rossa’s.  They’re here to win. 

So if the choice for them is race now and probably win, or race later and risk losing, it’s a no brainer.