America’s Cup 2021: How Luna Rossa plan to fight their way back into Cup clash against Team New Zealand

The America’s Cup is all about metres, and Luna Rossa will have at least one more night to try and find them.

The challenger is on the wrong end of match point in their bid to pry the Auld Mug from Team New Zealand after dropping the one race today.

In the most exciting race of the series so far, the sides traded leads before Team New Zealand ultimately got the final pass on the penultimate leg and sailed on to take their sixth win in the best-of-13 series.

With the second race of the day called out due to shifting wind conditions and the race committee running out of time to adjust the course, Luna Rossa head back to the sheds now in win or go home territory.

The Italians have constantly looked for ways to improve the performance of their boat, and done so throughout the campaign. And despite the added pressure on the scoreboard, Bruni told the Herald nothing would change for his team between how they approach the time between race days.

“The boat can always go faster. Every day is the same story – we go back and look at the data, look at the video and see where we can gain metres,” Bruni said.

“It’s all about a few metres, and we can definitely always get some more. We’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing so far – keep trying to improve.”

While the Italians remain confident and excited about the racing ahead, the end of today’s race was a deflating one as one error led to their defeat.

While the racing was close, Luna Rossa led through the first four gates. On the fifth leg, they had the chance to take the right side of the course, but believed the conditions would be better on the left and chose to protect their position on that side.

In the end, the pressure was better on the right, and Team New Zealand flew past them.

“That decision was not a very happy decision,” Bruni told the Herald. “But we looked at the wind and took our decision; there are no regrets.

“I think we sailed a very good race until that moment, we missed one wind shift and they were gone – there’s not much more we can say about it.”

When asked what it was like to sail with Team New Zealand breathing down their necks for the race, Bruni said it was “like trying to drown a fish in water”.

Despite the second race of the day being called off, Luna Rossa stayed out on the water for a bit longer to get some more valuable sailing time under their belts as they look for a way to turn the series around.

The Cup match is scheduled to resume at 4:15pm tomorrow, conditions permitting.

Should Team New Zealand win the first scheduled race of the day, they will retain the America’s Cup. Luna Rossa need to win every race from here on out to take it from them.

Heading into the Cup racing?

• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.

• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride.

• Don’t forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America’s Cup Village.

• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.

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