Such a start to the Prada Cup semifinals was in everyone’s hopes but hardly anyone dared to say so. Instead, Luna Rossa chased away fears and, despite a day of strong winds theoretically more favorable to American Magic, goes on to win the first two races by dominating. The series then goes to 2-0, with a theoretical match point that for Luna Rossa could already come tomorrow night on the second day, but it will have to be earned meter by meter, tack by tack. The very good news is in terms of speed for the Italian boat, which seemed very competitive even with the 18-20 knots on this debut day held on race course C, the one furthest down the coast. But it was not just a matter of speed. Checco Bruni in the on-board audios appeared dominant, very present on tactical readings, and in general communication aboard Luna Rossa seemed to be making definite strides forward. At the bottom of the article you will find directions on how to review the regattas with our commentary.
Checco Bruni and James Spithill are in no mood for gifts, they smell “blood” from a wounded American Magic and immediately try to bite at the start. Luna Rossa takes the leeward and blocks Dean Barker and co. who can then only queue up and leave already under control of the Italian boat. The first feeling is that Luna Rossa has slightly lower speed peaks but manages to hold very good angles to the wind. The lead is growing steadily, buoy after buoy, partly because the Americans are not flawless in their passes to the gatre, and they seem to have problems with foil arm movement that causes them several dives into the water, including one disastrous one resulting in them leaving the confines of the race course and penalty. At the finish line Luna Rossa wins with 2 minutes 43 seconds.
In many ways the second regatta of the day resembles the first. Luna Rossa still takes the leeward and dominates the start by once again going on the bow of Patriot. The Americans hold only for the first windward side, then the gap increases inexorably. Luna Rossa looks even faster than the Americans both upwind and downwind. Further heartening is a newfound communication among the crew, between James Spithill and Checco Bruni in particular, since the last race against the British. Bruni also very active in wind reading and strategic calls, from what we could hear in the on-board audio. The feeling is that the tactical reading of the race is more up to him and Pietro Sibello (seen again at the stern of the mainsail scanning the course) rather than Spithill. A new dip in the water by American Magic paved the way for a comfortable victory for Luna Rossa, which even won by a margin of 3 minutes and 7 seconds.
If you would like to review the regatta on a delayed basis with commentary from The Cup Newspaper here is the video with our live nightly coverage, within which you will also find some simple directions (from minute 33) on how to coordinate our commentary with the official images from the America’s Cup channel on Youtube. The Cup Journal looks forward to seeing you tomorrow night, also at 2:30, with Mino Taveri, Gabriele Bruni, Giulio Desiderato, Andrea Falcon, and Margherita Porro for another great night of the America’s Cup. All of our nightly live coverage will remain on our Facebook and Youtube channels available to all followers who wish to watch the races on a delayed basis with our commentary.
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