Join us at 3pm Saturday, when the spotlight goes on Dean Barker and American Magic, when they face Team UK again and Luna Rossa for the first time, hoping to chalk up some points on day two.
Prada Cup, Round 1, Race 2
INEOS TEAM UK V LUNA ROSSA PRADA PIRELLI
Team UK win by 28 seconds
Leg 6 – The race is Team UK’s to lose and they’re not making mistakes. They’re 300m up.
UK are up to 43 knots and are covering the Italians down the sprint to the line.
Team UK cross the line ahead – magnificent performance today – 28 seconds clear.
Leg 5 – This contest has tightened right up again to less than 100m, but the Brits have extended away again, heading right upwind. They’re just covering their rivals.
Luna Rossa tack right, Team UK follow. Both lay for the mark now.
The Brits tack around the right mark to head down the last leg, Luna Rossa take the left and have cut the margin to just 13 seconds. Any mistake is crucial now.
Leg 4 – Luna Rossa fall off the foils and lose ground at the top mark. That’s costly – all the gains they made upwind have been squandered.
The Italians are dragging both foils in the water, which won’t help them at all. Team UK are now about 500m ahead downwind.
Team UK tack to the left gate and down the right side of the course for the fifth leg. They fall off the foils momentarily, but are immediately back up.
Luna Rossa are 23 seconds behind at the mark.
Leg 3 – Britannia reaches the boundary and tacks left, with boths boats about 32 knots. The lead is just under 300m.
Luna Rossa seem to be making ground upwind, heading right. The lead is down below 200m.
Team UK seem to have laid for the mark from the centre of the course, but they will tack at the last minute for the right mark.
Luna Rossa round 23 seconds behind.
Leg 2 – Luna Rossa fall off their foils, so they will lose more ground. The Italians pick it up quickly and gather good boat speed, perhaps better than Team UK.
Ainslie has extended the lead to about 300m downwind. He’s aiming for the right mark and rounds smoothly, heading right immediately.
Spithill also takes the right mark, 22 seconds behind, but splits left.
Leg 1 – The Brits have tacked back towards the centre of the course and cover the Italians. Both boats are heading left, but Luna Rossa tack right at the boundary.
The lead is 100m, but Team UK have tacked to cover their rivals to the right. There’s an old-fashioned tacking duel developing here.
They’re fairly even now, but Luna Rossa has gone wide beyond the left layline and tack to the right mark. Team UK is already there and lead by 15 seconds.
Start – Team UK will have first bite at the start box from port side. What will Jimmy Spithill bring to the start from Luna Rossa?
Luna Rossa are well behind Team UK and may be trying to seize the windward position, just as the Brits did in that first race.
Both boats locked together now, but Team UK now have windward again. They’re late to the start, but the Brits have snatched the advantage and head down the right side of the course again.
4pm – Next up, the Brits are straight back on the track to face Challengers of Record Luna Rossa. If they can add this scalp to their collection, Sir Ben Ainslie has produced a miracle turnaround.
Prada Cup, Round 1, Race 1
NYYC AMERICAN MAGIC v INEOS TEAM UK
Team UK win by 1m 20s
“It feels a bit better than six losses or whatever it was,” admits Ainslie. “We left it a little bit late, but managed to find the pace when it counted… in this breeze.
“The right hand side was stronger – North Head – as we saw in the races a couple of weeks ago.
“That race was for the rest of the team back at the dock – our designers, our engineers, our shore team, our boat builders. They’ve had an epic 2-3 weeks turning this boat around.
“I just said to the boys, we’re a long way from out of the woods yet. That’s just one good race, but it’s a huge motivator for our team and hopefully we can continue that momentum now.”
Leg 6 – Team UK retain their 1m 08s lead around the last mark and are racing towards the finish, when Barker finally rounds.
Remember, the Americans are favoured to win the challenger series, but they’ve been pantsed today.
Ainslie heads to the finish-line and cross for first blood in the challenger regatta. Who would have picked that?
Barker will be stunned by that result and he’s lost ground on the last leg, eventually crossing 1m 20s behind.
Leg 5 – Upwind, Ainslie is sailing away from Barker, who needs a miracle – or disaster for Team UK – to get back in the contest.
UK laying on the righthand line. They head for the left gate, but tack right at the last minute for the favourable wind down the final leg.
Leg 4 – The Brits seem to have more speed downwind, reaching 42 knots. They’re about 1km ahead and look unbeatable.
They round the mark to begin the fifth leg and Magic are way off to the left, only just laying for the mark. They’re now 1m 08s behind.
Leg 3 – American Magic fall off their foils rounding the mark, so they lose more ground.
Team UK have tacked back toward the centre of the course, but no further, as they turn back to cover the Americans and protect their 300m lead.
Both boats are travelling 33-34 knots upwind. Team UK take a middle track towards the gate and will tack around the right mark.
Magic have zig-zagged rather too much and slipped 47 seconds behind.
Leg 2 – Nice start from Sir Ben Ainslie and he has Britannia humming at 38-40 knots downwind.
Magic initially split to the other side of the course, but now jib back towards their rivals. They’re well behind.
This is a completely different UK team to the one we saw before Christmas – they’re now 400m ahead as they near the second mark. Their lead has extended to 19 seconds, as they head down the right side of the course and Magic split left.