The first stage of the Prada Cup, Challenger Selection Series features a Round Robin of twelve match races.
Ben Ainslie and Ineos Team UK nailed the first day with back to back wins on day 1 of the Prada Cup, Challenger Selection Series in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ainslie and his crew took straight forward victories over both their challenger rivals, leading from the start to the finish line in both races.
Beating firstly the American Magic team by 1 min 20 sec and then then Italy’s Luna Rossa by 28 seconds.
Ainslie commented, “We couldn’t have been happier with how the boat got around the track.”
“Quite a turnaround for us in these conditions. We feel good in this breeze and up but we know we have work to do in the lighter winds which are expected tomorrow.”
Starting on Friday 15 January, the three Challengers for the America’s Cup will compete for the first ever Prada Cup, and the right to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup Match presented by Prada in early March.
The first six match races will take place between 15 and 17 January.
The second six match races will take place between 22 and 24 January.
Between these two series of races, the teams are allowed to change their yacht configuration during the lay-day period, and must then declare it to the measurement team on Wednesday 20 January.
Day 1 will see British Ineos Team UK race against firstly NYYC American Magic and then against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.
Warning signal for first race: 15:12 hrs NZL (02:12 hrs UK).
Important Prada Cup race points to note:
The wind limits for the Round Robins and Semi-Final Stage – between 6.5 and 21 knots for the whole period between 9 mins and 4 mins before the start.
The Leg 1 time limit will be 12 minutes.
The “time limit” for a race will be 45 minutes.