Mar 10, 2021
Day one of the 36th America’s Cup didn’t disappoint with the defender Emirates Team New Zealand and the challenger Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sitting on a tie after two races. Pretty even performances between the two boats confirmed that there is no space for mistakes.
Two races were staged on racecourse E, between the coast and the island of Waiheke, in northerly 13-18 knots winds.
The first race started on time at 4.15 pm with ETNZ entering on port and Luna Rossa on starboard. At the end of the two minutes Luna Rossa was on the starting line on starboard tack downwind to the Kiwi boat that took immediate control. Throughout the following legs ETNZ’s advantage was always no more than 300 meters, except for the final downwind where the Kiwis extended their lead and closed the race in front with a 31-second advantage.
The second race had Luna Rossa in front right from the start, moving to cover their opponents right away and gaining distance on all six legs, defending the more favourable right side of the course. The last two legs saw the New Zealand boat getting uncomfortably close due to a separation taken at the fourth gate, by which they recovered a few seconds, both at the fifth gate and in the stretch towards the line, that they crossed only 8 seconds behind Luna Rossa, taking home its first point in the series, and marking the Italian team’s first victory ever in an America’s Cup match.
The first day of the final match of the 36th Americas’ Cup presented by PRADA closes with a tie.