Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli beat INEOS TEAM UK
PRADA Cup Final - Race 1
Current: 0.1 knots @ 205
Wind 6-9kts 050 degrees
Winner Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA) – 1:52
The morning’s weather forecast suggested that there could be a delay to racing as the sea breeze took time to build against the gradient breeze. And while this is what happened, the start was only pushed back by two minutes. Once the minimum wind speed requirements were met, the racing was underway.
But while one hurdle had been crossed in getting the opening race of the PRADA Cup Final underway, both teams were acutely aware that staying on the foils would be crucial.
As a result, it was perhaps not surprising that neither Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA) who had entered on port and INEOS TEAM UK (GBR) who came in on starboard were inclined to engage in a close quarters pre-start duel. The risk of coming off their foils was too great.
And with just under a minute to go to the start INEOS TEAM UK were the first to do just that as their hull splashed down.
Luna Rossa came close to doing the same, but as they have demonstrated in previous races, the Italian boat is slippery in light winds and got back underway.
As the clock counted down to the start, the Italians remained on their foils, just, their on board comms revealing how carefully they were playing this crucial stage of the race.
As they crossed the start line INEOS TEAM UK were still off their foils. The gap between the two was growing quickly.
Perfect for the Italians, painful for the British.
Indeed, from there, even when the British had got up and running, the distance continued to grow especially as INEOS TEAM UK incurred the first of two boundary penalties.
Luna Rossa passed through the first windward gate 1:20 ahead. By the bottom gate they had stretched out to 1:36. Another lap of the course and the Italians were continuing to deliver a flawless performance in the light conditions and had pulled out to 1:57.
Meanwhile, INEOS TEAM UK had found their feet and stayed on them but with just one lap to go the gap, which was now around 1800m, looked impossible to close down.
And in the end it was, as Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli turned their commanding lead and dominant performance into a win.