Luna Rossa takes four

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has won all four races during the first weekend of the Prada Cup Final.

16 February 2021


With two wins on Saturday and two more on Sunday, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has taken a strong lead in the Prada Cup Final.

The four wins in the first-to-seven final give the Italian side a great position while placing pressure on INEOS TEAM UK.

The opening races on Saturday saw fierce competition from both sides, with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli managing to take both wins.

The competition on Sunday was equally as strong. Both boats entered the pre-start area in the day’s first race at a blistering 46 knots, but a gamble by INEOS TEAM UK to gain advantage by leeward saw Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli take an early lead, holding a 9-second advantage by the first gate.

By gate two, INEOS TEAM UK had cut the margin to 6 seconds before losing a whole additional 12 seconds by the third gate. The gap proved too large for the UK side, and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli took the race by 3 seconds.


It was a similar story the second race of the day with the Italians again controlling the entire race.

By the first gate, Luna Rossa was 12 seconds ahead before extending that by 21 seconds at the third, followed by 37 seconds at the final gate. A shift in breeze to the right meant that for INEOS TEAMU UK, barring disaster, the race was already over.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Helmsman, Francesco Bruni, said: “Obviously, we’re super happy. The British are not easy to beat; even with the bad start they had, they were very close, and they wouldn’t give up.”

“We’re happy, but the focus must remain high. We must use tomorrow and Tuesday to improve; we have to keep improving. We can feel the Italians cheering for us. The support we receive is amazing. People think that Italy is all about football, but sailing is having a good fight at the moment.”

“In the first race, we made a mess of the start, but after that, we had a good race. They did a great job keeping it tight, two pretty even boats, two great teams. We came out on the wrong side, and we’re not happy about it, but it was a good race,” said Sir Ben Ainslie.

“Credit to Luna Rossa; they sailed very well and didn’t really give us a chance to get back into it,” he added.

“At this level, you can’t afford to make any mistakes, and we made too many. So, we have to go away and regroup and get ready for Wednesday and come out swinging.”

The next planned raced day, originally set for Wednesday this week, has been postponed due to Auckland’s level 3 restrictions following three locally acquired COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

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