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AC75 Prada Cup Preview

13th January 2021
Defenders Team New Zealand nosedived and capsized in an unforced error shortly after gybing Defenders Team New Zealand nosedived and capsized in an unforced error shortly after gybing

Whether it be for the Challengers or the Defender, the speed at which the whole America's Cup fleet is developing has already taken even the experts by surprise.

During the break between the PRADA America's Cup World Series Auckland and the start of the Challenger selection series, the Prada Cup, it was clear that teams would continue to develop their boats and their handling techniques, as well as incorporating what they had learned from the three days of racing.

As always in a Cup campaign, time is the biggest constraint but never more so than for this cycle where the new generation of boats are so extreme and their true potential yet to be defined. Here, the learning curve is steep for all.

So a two-day practice race programme this week provided an opportunity to see what all the teams had been up to and how they had adapted their sailing. And from the moment they arrived on the racecourse, it was clear that plenty had changed and that the competition is already heating up. Rarely have we seen this level of intensity in an America's Cup build-up.

The big surprise came when the Defenders nosedived and capsized in an unforced error shortly after gybing. A sharp reminder of the thin line that all of the teams tread. Thankfully no one was hurt and righting the AC75 took just a matter of minutes. And while the team decided to withdraw from the rest of racing for the day, they were back up and running in time for the racing on the following day.

Published in America's Cup
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