Demanding light wind conditions made it difficult for the teams to sail on foils on the second day of the PradCup. The British made the best of it again. Sir Ben Ainslies Ineos Team UK won their only match of the day against Team New York Yacht Club American Magic. In the second duel, Patrizio Bertelli's LunRossPradPirelli team prevailed against the Americans, who thus remained without a win for the time being. Team boss Terry Hutchinson described the black day as "one for character building". In the intermediate standings, the British lead with 3-0 victories before the Italians with 1: 1 and the less fortunate Americans (0: 3).
The British performance remains strong in this early part of the Challenger Round
What happens when the winds are so light that the boats keep falling off their foils was something the Americans in particular experienced on that day in a brutal way: While the Italians were already sailing late across the starting line, they stuck in at eight knots of wind the start box still with its trunk in the water. Instead of fighting a fiery duel with the Azzurri, they sometimes stood still like in a parking garage and were already 250 meters behind when they finally brought their torso over the starting line. The further course of the race in an average of eight to rarely even 14 knots of wind with a whole series of downward deviations caused tension again in the meantime, when the Americans equalized a 700 meter gap and even overtook the Italians. But before the second goal, the Azzurri were able to turn the race in the "minefield" (Francesco Bruni) back in their favor and bring it home. This gave them their first victory point in this round of challengers at the sixth Cup attempt by racing team owner Bertelli. The Americans, on the other hand, lagged so far behind in the match with Italy that they didn't even make it to the finish line within the 45-minute time limit.
Three defeats in a row give Terry Hutchinson and his team American Magic food for thought
Impressive from every angle: The AC75 class foilers, which had to struggle very hard on day 2 of the PradCup. Here the Italian "LunRossa"
It couldn't have been the performance of the American team that day that put the women in such a good mood on the water …
The Italian helmsman Francesco Bruni said after the race: "I'm sure that our big foils will help us in these conditions. But today the main thing was to stay under good pressure. Whether it was difficult to calm down in this nerve game Preserve? That was by far the hardest part! Especially for us Italians! " You can easily imagine the liberated smile. Opponent Dean Barker had far less reason to be happy on board the American "Patriot" and said after his team's second defeat: "I would call this a lottery today, but it's part of the competition." When asked why "Patriot" did not come up with the largest foresail in so little wind - like the Italians - Barker said: "We did not expect the wind to be so easy." In fact, the breeze had decreased significantly in the last few minutes before take-off.
This is what winners look like: Italy's helmsman Francesco Bruni after defeating the Americans
Even more demanding, "Britannia" and "Patriot" struggled over the course in the second match of the day. Sir Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott and the Ineos Team UK were able to convincingly refute the assumption that they may still be traveling with a weak wind. On the contrary: For them, too, it was sometimes agonizingly slow about the turning marks, especially the first, around which they balanced their foiler on the fuselage with sometimes less than one knot speed as if in slow motion. But in the further course of the duel, which was hardly one, the British knew how to impress with significantly better take-off performances.
This is how it went for the three challengers on day 2 of the PradCup …
For this second race of the day, the wind force was given as eight to twelve knots at the end. Because the wind had turned, the race committee had to postpone the start and realign the course axis. Ineos Team UK, which sailed into the start box confidently and punctually, met Americans who were obviously out of their roles, messed up their timing and dived too early. Not only did they get a penalty for this, they also fell off the foils and couldn't get up while the British put on a little muscle show on the right side of the pre-start arena. When "Britannia" finally shot over the starting line, the Americans looked like a dead fish in the water.
Left behind as much as possible: In this scene, even the TV commentators struggled for words. While the British were long on the first section of the race, the Americans were still stuck on the start line
After an extremely late start, "Patriot" finally got on the foils and finally picked up speed during the slow first round of the barrel by the British. The Americans suddenly came cheered on at a boat speed of 33.9 knots - but only to slow down even when approaching the top brand as the Ainslie troop had before. At times the duel should have been called a competition. World-class sailor Ken Read, one of three strong TV commentators alongside Olympic champions Shirley Robertson and Nathan Outteridge, asked aloud: "Could this be the slowest barrel rounding ever?"
In the further course of the races, the British got along better with the "elevator conditions" in which both teams kept falling off the foils. Even they, as the front runners, had to worry about reaching the finish line of the already shortened course within the time limit. That finally succeeded two minutes before the time ran out. 59 seconds later, the Americans also crossed the finish line. "I think we pulled the unlucky number at the lottery," said skipper Terry Hutchinson later at the press conference.
What skipper and tactician said after the second day of racing in the challenger lap
The round robin preliminary round of the PradCup will continue on Sunday. Then Patrizio Bertelli's LunRossPradPirelli Team is the team that has to run twice in a row and will try to shake the current British dominance. Sir Ben Ainslie also attributed the opening success on this second day of the Challenger Round to his grinders: "They have to work extremely hard on normal days. But today in these light winds they really did great things."
Here you can find the results and intermediate results.
Scenes that you can hardly imagine in Europaktuell: a relaxed and peaceful fan festival at the America's Cup in Auckland, where the corona virus is currently not a cause for concern after tough lockdowns last year and the strictest entry and quarantine conditions
Anyone who knows him or has even sailed against him has already seen this facial expression: Sir Ben Ainslie has gone into attack mode