God doesn’t save the Queen, Luna Rossa beats Ineos 7-1 and is the 36th America’s Cup challenger


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Red Moon

It’s America’s Cup, 21 years later. In the same place, where it all began. Luna Rossa is the official challenger of the 36th America’s up. The third time by an Italian crew after Moro di Venezia in 1992 and Luna Rossa itself in 2000.

The final day of racing in Auckland has no history, in the light wind the Italian boat dominates Ineos without appeal. “I am sorry guys,” says Ben Ainslie to his boys at the finish line. And it is a picture of a thunderous defeat for a team that came to this final as a favorite and comes out in tatters.

Today the boat has made the difference, but men design and build the medium. “We are Italian, what the heck,” exclaims Checco Bruni on the finish line releasing days of contained tension. And then there is time to stop and celebrate, not much though, because there was a bulky presence lurking on the race course today. Emirates Team New Zealand, which has been waiting for Luna Rossa since March 6.



9 knots on race course A. Less contested start than yesterday, Luna Rossa opts for the right and the start ends in a tie with Ineos immediately downwind of Luna Rossa. The Italian boat holds out to the boundary and after the tack attacks from downwind and passes. The British are forced to tack with the Italian cockpit immediately going into cover.

The stern begins with Luna Rossa in seemingly untroubled control. The second upwind still continues with the Italian cockpit careful in marking and Ineos coming out of the gate badly touching the water and losing 100 meters in a few seconds. The match slips out of Ben Ainslie’s hands with Luna Rossa stretching relentlessly as the wind settles at 9-10 knots.

No way out even downwind for Ineos, which fails to make it back after a second knockout windward leg. The Italian AC 75 digs unbridgeable furrows upwind, showing itself clearly superior in these wind conditions and going on to sign off 6-1 in the series.

BOA 1 16 seconds LR

BOA 2 21 seconds

BOA 3 1 minute 07

BOA 4 1 minute 02

BOA 5 1 minute 45

ARRIVAL 1 minute 45


Battle at the start with Ben Ainslie trying to stay very close to Luna Rossa, a hard-fought start ensues, with two penalty calls by Luna Rossa who in response to Ineos attacks starts early and takes penalties mind it is green light for the British.

At the first crossing ahead Britannia, which does not go into the mark, Luna Rossa fishes a good right at the next crossing and passes by turning the first gate in the lead and starting the stern in soft control conceding some separation to the British.

The lead remains unchanged and at the start of the second windward Luna Rossa goes into close marking and as happened in race 7 upwind the gap expands. Second stern in fluency for the Italian boat, which shows no particular distress. Interestingly, already by the middle of the stern, the Italian crew begins to reason out the upwind moves, always being found punctually in marker when Ineos turns the stern gate, leaving no escape for the opponent.

The race slips away without a stir, Luna Rossa is the official challenger for the 36th America’s Cup.

BOA 1 12 seconds Luna Rossa

BOA 2 12 seconds

BOA 3 33 seconds

BOA 4 35 seconds

BOA 5 53 seconds

ARRIVAL 56 seconds

The Cup Newspaper returns live from Sunday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. Our Bacci Del Buono and Mauro Giuffrè will have as guests Gabriele Bruni, Dede De Luca, David Ingiosi and Federico Albano to comment on what happened on the fourth day of the Prada Cup final between Luna Rossa and Ineos, live on our page Facebook, on Youtube and in the events area of Milan Yachting Week.



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