Luna Rossa captain Jimmy Spithill has often mentioned the importance of race time for this America’s Cup campaign – in terms of the progression and development of their ship, and how to navigate it.
However, it is believed that this may not be the case for the New Zealand team.
As the defender of Auld Mug, the New Zealand team does not have the luxury of competitive sailing during the Prada Cup. Instead, their experience competing against another union is limited to a few races competing in the World Cup in America and the Christmas Cup.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking, Spithill said that even without the extra race, the New Zealand team deserves the title of being the team to conquer.
“As a defender, this might be one of the hardest things,” said Spethyl. “Well, you secured a spot in the main event, but you’re sitting there watching the competitors compete head-to-head, you know they’re learning; it’s tough.
“But from what I saw in the Christmas race, the Kiwi are the team to beat. There’s no doubt in my mind. They produced a very, very good package, which is no surprise. They were always very creative, very logical, and always pushing. They would be a bunch. Everyone who passes between us and Ineos [Team UK]It would be a very difficult order against kiwi. “
Luna Rossa had the most races of any team left in the search for the America’s Cup, with 16 races, while the UK’s Ineos competed in 12, and the New Zealand team only six. Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK can add up to 13 races during the Prada Cup Finals series, the best out of seven.
Spithill said he was happy to be in the semi-finals of the Prada Cup against American Magic instead of qualifying directly for the final as did the UK team, and said that while the New Zealand team is the team to beat, at the moment, their crew cannot allow it. Themselves think so far.
“It’s great for the team we are in. I’m happy we went through the semifinals; I’m glad we had to go into that second round because that just means we got a lot of hard training to prepare us for this final,” Spethyl said.
“We can’t think much about the final result of the Copa America. What we need to focus on now, 100 percent of our time and energy, is to pass this final series and beat Eneos. We can’t think much about the Kiwi now, because we have to get past this next stage.” .
The Prada Cup finals series begins on February 13th.
Are you heading to a cup race?
• Give yourself plenty of time and consider taking a ferry, train or bus to see the cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It is the best way to ride.
• Don’t forget to scan the QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app while commuting on public transport and entering America’s Cup Village.
For more ways to enjoy Race Day, visit //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/ at.govt.nz/americascup.