Stressful weather forecast for Prada Cup

Published on January 28th, 2021

Auckland, New Zealand (January 29, 2021) – With INEOS Team UK winning the opening stage of the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, it is now for American Magic and Luna Rossa to face-off in the best of seven semi-final stage which begins today. For them, it is either win or go home.

And if the threat of having to head home isn’t putting enough pressure on these teams, the weather forecast for the next three days has added another layer of stress.

The passage of a weather system across South Island New Zealand is making its presence felt across the north, causing both the wind speed and directions to change significantly over the course of the next three days. The issues for teams and their strategists is predicting when those changes will happen making it difficult to focus on the best configuration.

It has become no secret that Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli favor the light to medium conditions and still claim to have concerns over the stronger breezes. American Magic are known to be tipped towards the other end of the scale. Indeed, they were set to have their best result in the brisker conditions of their last race before their dramatic capsize whipped the rug out from underneath them.

But despite the capsize and the damage it caused, there is no reason to suggest that the American preference for stronger breezes has changed. Now, having emerged from nine days of intense boat building, the team is expected to be more focused and determined than ever. In the words of Luna Rossa’s Vasco Vascotto, “This makes them dangerous for us.”

So, given the fluctuating weather forecast over the next few days what lies on store?

Today looks set to deliver the most settled of the three days ahead starting with SW 19kts and dropping to 16kts but with possible gusts over 20kts. On the face of it, conditions that might favour American Magic.

After that the breeze drops to 12-13kts on January 30-31 and having changed direction to the northeast. Could this be better for Luna Rossa?

Irrespective of which team fares best in the conditions, given the knockout nature of this next round, both teams will be taking the racing step by step, day by day, as each team battles to avoid being sent home in this best of seven series.

The PRADA Cup is a series of four round robins (Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-24), with the winner of the series qualifying for the PRADA Cup Final and the remaining two Challengers going into a Semi-Final Series (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) for the right to join the Round Robin winner in the Final (Feb. 13–22). The winner of the PRADA Cup will then face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.

More information:
• Prada Cup format, standings, and how to watch online: click here.
• Complete America’s Cup coverage: click here
• Additional America’s Cup information: click here

Source: AC36

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