Prada Cup- LIVE at Takapuna Boating Club
Takapuna Boating Club will be showing live on multiple screens every race of the Prada Cup, which runs from Friday 15th January - 22nd February.
The Prada Cup determines which challenger team will race against the Emirates Team New Zealand for the America's Cup.
There is no better place to watch it than at the Takapuna Boating Club, where the action will be live on big screens and potentially viewable from our decks!
Prada Cup Finals Racing is from 4pm-6pm. See race schedule below.
Takapuna Boating Club Opening hours: from 3pm on the days of racing.
What has happened so far?
The first weekend was a spectacular weekend of racing which included the whole range of weather conditions, an unexpected comeback and a dramatic capsize.
Ineos Team UK, who came into the Prada Cup as the underdogs after a disappointing performance in the Christmas Cup, were the surprise of the weekend winning all 4 of their races. The rebuild of their boat over the christmas period was clearly effective, and they had significantly improved boatspeed and boat handling which enabled them to show off their sailing skills and dominate, particularly in the start box. American Magic were lacking some of the spark and finesse they showed in the Christmas cup and lost all 4 of their races, although light and shifty conditions on the Sunday meant it came down to luck in a couple of situations. They were looking strong in their race on Sunday, leading Luna Rossa around the final mark when a strong gust of wind at the wrong time resulted in a terrifying capsize. The boat launched skywards before crashing back down. A large hole in the bow of the boat lead to a large 3hr rescue effort to keep Patriot afloat. She was saved and the team underook the massive job to get her repaired in time to compete in the Prada Cup semi-finals.
With the American's out of action for round robins 3 & 4, Luna Rossa and Team UK raced each other twice. It was close racing, particularly the final race which saw 9 lead changes and spectacular skill as these sailors proved that match racing in these boats is definitely possible. But Ben Ainlie's team came out on top, winning both races to go unbeaten in the round robins and move directly through to the Prada Cup Final.
Luna Rossa and a patched up American Magic went head to head in a best of 7 series, to fight for a finals berth. In the end, it wasn't particularly close racing with Jimmy Spithill dominating in the start box and American Magic clearly suffering the after-effects of their capsize and near-sinking. This was evident on the 2nd day of racing when the Americans experienced technical difficulties and were unable to raise and lower their foiling arms. Luna Rossa won the first 4 races and eliminated American Magic out of the competition.
After 4 races in the best of 13 Prada Cup finals, Luna Rossa lead Team UK 4-0. Luna Rossa sailed these races nearly flawlessly, leading all 4 races off the start line and around every mark. Whilst they certainly had a speed advantage over the British team in lighter conditions, there was not an obvious difference in the moderate/heavier wind conditions - it was simply a matter of aggressive starts, putting their boat in the right place on the course and not making mistakes. Team UK will be desperately looking for chinks in their armour over the next few days and, known for making great comebacks, no one will be counting Ben Ainslie out just yet.
The first team to win 7 races will advance to the America's Cup, where they will race defenders Emirates Team New Zealand.
Prada Cup Finals racing will resume on Saturday 20th February at 4pm. (racing on Wed 17th and Friday 19th was postponed due to Covid 19 Level 3 lockdown)
All you need to know about the Prada Cup...
The Prada Cup will see the three Challengers competing to qualify to race against the America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup in March.
Therefore, to win the America's Cup, first you must win the Prada Cup.
HOW DOES IT WORK:
The Prada Cup is made up of 4 Round Robins, a semi-final series and a final series.
In the Round Robins, all three challengers race each other 4 times. The winner of the round robin series (team with the most points) will go directly to the Prada Cup Final.
The remaining two teams compete in a best of seven wins, head-to-head, Semi-Final, for the last spot in the final.
The PRADA Cup Final is a best of thirteen race series where the first team to reach seven wins will win the exquisite PRADA Cup trophy and be awarded the rights to be the Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup to race the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team- The Challenger of Record
Helmsman: James Spithill/ Francesco Bruni
Position in ACWS event in December: 3rd
Luna Rossa declared it's challenge to ETNZ in 2017 and became the Challenger of Record for 2021. They looked formidable during the ACWS event in December, particularly in the lighter conditions, with good control and manoeuvrability of their 75-foot monohull. With a boat designed to specialise in light-air conditions, they will be hoping the sea breeze stays away.
Nation: USA, New York Yacht Club
Helmsman: Dean Barker
Position in ACWS event in December: 2nd
American Magic put themselves forward as the top challenger at the AWCS in December, being the only team take a race win off Emirates Team New Zealand. They showed they had the boat speed but were a bit inconsistent in their manoeuvres, however with more racing and time on the water, expect these errors to disappear. The ones to watch!
Ineos Team UK
Nation: United Kingdom
Helmsman: Sir Ben Ainslie
Boat: Brittania aka "RITA"
Position in ACWS event in December: 4th
Unable to secure a win, there was no question INEOS Team UK were a notch behind the other teams in the ACWS races, both in speed and control, particularly in the light air. However, they are led by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie, and will have spent their Christmas break doing everything they can to make up this deficit and become a contender. The question remains if there was enough time...
American Magic suffered damage following a hair-raising capsize in round robin 2, which saw boat nearly sink.
Ineos Team UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will race in the Prada Cup final for the right to challenge for the America's Cup.