Luna Rossa are one step away from facing Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup, after yet another dominant performance over INEOS Team UK this afternoon.
The Italian team now lead the first-to-seven series 6-1, and are odds-on-favourites to wrap up the Prada Cup in the second race of the day in less than an hour’s time.
INEOS Team UK would have been hoping for strong winds out on the Hauraki Gulf, but unfortunately for the Brits a light breeze of around ten knots was blowing across Course A in front of Rangitoto Island.
Luna Rossa has proven to be the quicker boat in such conditions, and today was no different, as they pulled further away from their opponents through each leg of the race.
It was not all negative for the British team.
They had one of their better starts of the Prada Cup, taking a slim lead of around half a boat length into the first leg.
It was neck and neck for the first few hundred metres, but Luna Rossa’s position forced INEOS Team UK to tack, giving the Italians a moment of breathing room.
A poorly executed tack from the Italians less than a minute later did not cost them their race position, and they went through the first gate with a 16 second lead.
Luna Rossa extended their lead to 21 seconds around the second gate, and the pressure to find a way back into the race proved to be too much for INEOS Team UK.
A poor manoeuvre around the second gate caused their Britannia boat to fall off its foils and drop to a speed of just ten knots.
This series has shown that a single mistake can decide a race, and that proved to be the case once again.
Luna Rossa cruised into the second half of the race with a 67 second lead, and from that point the result was never in doubt.
The Italians could not be stopped, disappearing out of sight to secure a thumping one minute and 45 second victory.