PRADA ACWS AUCKLAND
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli win race 3 against INEOS TEAM UK
Port: INEOS TEAM UK
Starboard: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Current: 0.1 knots at 346
Winner: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
The clock was counting down for INEOS TEAM UK (GBR) from the moment they crossed the finish line in Race 2. Technical problems in the previous race had hampered their performance, now they had minutes to ensure that their boat was ready to face Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA). In the opening stages of the pre-start it looked as if the British team had got back into shape as they entered the start box at speed and on time from the left hand side.
Meanwhile the Italians entered in a similar manner, but as the clock counted down to the start and INEOS TEAM UK tacked onto starboard to line up for the start, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli came in on port, tacked underneath the British team who now had to keep clear as they were the windward boat.
AC75 boats have safety zones around them to help avoid any physical contact, breaching these zones gains a penalty and it was INEOS TEAM UK that started their race with a penalty as the umpires deemed that Sir Ben Ainslie’s had not kept clear. Within seconds Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli had accelerated away from the incident, up on their foils, at speed and had pulled out a 500m+ lead as both boats went up the left hand side of the beat.
By the first windward gate the Italians were 1:09 ahead of INEOS TEAM UK, a physical lead of 1000m. But shortly after the British team went through the gate skipper Ben Ainslie announced to the race committee that they were retiring from the race following a technical failure.