What are Ineos Team UK/Ainslie’s chances?
From being severely off the pace pre-Christmas, to turning it around in style – so much so that there were claims of ‘sandbagging’ – to also chipping in to help when rivals American Magic dramatically capsized: it’s certainly been eventful so far for Ineos Team UK and Sir Ben Ainslie.
Topping the round robin was a big boost for the British team but Ainslie will be the first to admit work is still needed if they want to eventually be lining up against defenders New Zealand in the America’s Cup match, especially after a losing start against Luna Rossa in the Prada Cup final.
Remember, four years ago the team didn’t even make it as far as that stage as they lost to eventual winners New Zealand.
What are they saying?
Winning the round-robin phase of the Prada Cup was crucial for Ineos Team UK, and they’ve been working hard since, according to Ainslie. But light winds again proved their Achilles heel in the opening races of the Prada Cup final and the second day did not prove to be much more successful either, falling 4-0 down.
“We’re not happy. We can sail a hell of a lot better than that and we need to. We just gave two races to those guys with bad starts. We need to get our act together and come out swinging.”
Meanwhile Luna Rossa denied that they had acted “without honour or respect” for their hosts New Zealand after a row broke out over the schedule for the rest of their Prada Cup final against Ineos Team UK.
Both the America’s Cup Event authority and Ineos Team UK were in favour of pushing racing back by a week to give fans the best possible chance of entering the race village and spectator boats the best possible chance of going out on the water. That is because of the continuing Covid-19 restrictions in Auckland that prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people.
As Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa had said that if the resumption of racing was delayed past next Wednesday, it would declare itself the winner of the Prada Cup by virtue of being 4-0 up, insisting rules had previously been agreed by all teams.
Organisers relented and announced that races 5 and 6 will be held on Saturday and two races a day will follow until one competitor gets to the required seven points to win.
What are the latest odds?
- Ineos Team UK 11/10
- Luna Rossa Challenge 11/20