Luna Rossa, victory thriller: Bruni-Spithill rise in the light wind

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The reaction of champions was needed, and it came. Luna Rossa brings home the first point of the Prada Cup by beating American Magic in a thriller race in the light wind. The Bruni-Spithill pair is back on top, rediscovered from their debut day in terms of coolness and ability to perform under pressure. The crisis of the Americans continues, still suffering performance-wise and with a cockpit still uncertain in some circumstances, starting with Dean Barker always struggling under stress. AC 75s in light winds prove unpredictable, always hovering between displacement and foil trim.

American Magic’s black moment seems to have no end, as Ben Ainslie now proves fast even in little wind and becomes a fearsome opponent for Luna Rossa.

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RED MOON VS AMERICAN MAGIC

Wind at the racing limit, around 7 knots, and a race full of twists and turns from the start. Luna Rossa enters the starting box tacked to the left but struggles to get past American Magic, which protests her at the crossing. Green light from the umpires, with the feeling that Dean Barker had a chance to make a dent but missed it. Boats fall off the foils already in the pre-start, but in the end Luna Rossa is the first to cross, right tack, the starting line. The race course is full of holes, and this is where you can feel the coolness of the Italian cockpit, which despite the foil drop at the first stern, and the overtaking by American Magic, rises to the top from a tactical point of view and retakes the lead of the race, managing to get back on the foils always before the opponent. Excellent communication between Bruni and Spithill in reading gusts, very cool Australian in handling delicate passes. Luna Rossa brushes in the light wind, and eventually goes on to win with just a 7-minute margin over the 45-minute time limit. American Magic even, after even being ahead, does not close the race within the limit.

INEOS TEAM UK VS AMERICAN MAGIC

Ben Ainslie outclasses Dean Barker at the start, in part because American Magic completely misses his entry into the starting box, coming in early and dropping foils to try to make up for the mistake. Barker gets a double penalty, the first for early entry, the second due to Ainslie raging. Regatta reopening at the first windward mark, with the British falling off the foils and a long displacement phase with the two boats very close together. But it is still Ineos’ day as she shows that she has completely overcome the World Series crisis and has become competitive even with little wind. Ben Ainslie and Giles Scotto win on the time limit, and remain the only boat with full points in the Prada Cup.

Mauro Giuffrè

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