The new schedule for the upcoming third and fourth round robin for the Prada Cup has been announced, confirming reports that teams will be forced to 'race' on their own following American Magic's capsize on Sunday.
American Magic were forced to withdraw from racing to make urgent repairs to their boat Patriot after the New York syndicate's dramatic capsize and near sinking during their race against Luna Rossa.
It's left the remaining Prada Cup challengers – Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK – having to take part in a "ghost race" due to Prada Cup regulations in order to be handed the win by default.
"In order to comply with the formality of the Regulations, after finishing the above races both competitors will have to take the start of a "ghost race" vs New York Yacht Club American Magic to allow the Regatta Director to award the point to the relevant team," the Prada Cup said in a statement.
"The "ghost race" will then be suspended just a few minutes after the start. The rule of 25 minutes between the two starts will not apply to these "ghost races"."
The revised schedule will mean Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK will face each other twice, with one race each taking place on Saturday and Sunday at 4pm.
"Should INEOS TEAM UK win the Saturday race, the Sunday race result will be redundant as INEOS TEAM UK would be the first classified team of the Round Robins and, as such, will go directly through to the PRADA Cup Final. In that event the two teams will have the choice whether or not to race on Sunday," the Prada Cup statement continued.
The third and fourth round robin races will determine the automatic qualifier for the Prada Cup final, with the remaining two teams facing off in a seven-race semifinal to determine the second finalist.
American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson said earlier this week that there were a lot of hours of work ahead for his team to repair their boat which would mean they would miss this weekend's racing, but he was confident they would be back on the water in time for the semifinals on January 29-31.
Ineos Team UK are unbeaten with four wins in their Prada Cup campaign so far and require one more win against Luna Rossa to book their spot in the final.
The challenger of record Luna Rossa have two wins and two losses, and need to win both races this weekend to qualify for the final via the tiebreaker (winner of the last race).
Prada Cup schedule - round robin three and four
Saturday 23rd of January 2021:
Luna Rossa vs Ineos Team UK – Start at 4pm
Sunday 24th of January 2021:
Ineos Team UK vs Luna Rossa – Start at 4pm