America’s Cup 2021: Luna Rossa’s eye-catching request ahead of race three of clash against Team New Zealand

Luna Rossa have requested one of their representatives be on board the boat that measures wind speed on the second day of their America’s Cup Match against Team New Zealand.

Regatta Director Iain Murray was not confident about racing conditions, with about 2-7 knots of breeze from the northeast expected this afternoon.

The lower wind limit for America’s Cup racing is 6.5 knots and racing cannot continue if measurements taken five minutes prior to racing dip below that figure.

Murray said there is a “high percentage” chance that racing will not continue today, with the first race scheduled for 4.15pm.

It has been reported that higher winds should favour the defender, while lighter winds potentially benefit the Challenger of Record.

The Cup match is level at 1-1 after Wednesday’s first two races.

“There’s been a request in the arbitration panel for a representative from the Challenger of Record to be on the on-water operation control boat,” Murray told Newstalk ZB.

Asked if a representative from Team New Zealand will also be on the boat, Murray said: “Well, it’s run by ACE (America’s Cup Events), so I’ll let you analyse that”.

In the opening race of the best-of-13 series, Team New Zealand’s average upwind and downwind speeds were about 1kn faster than Luna Rossa, however the Italians’ maximum speed of 48.01kn was faster than that of the Kiwi outfit (46.90kn).

In the second race, Team New Zealand were again the faster boat – this time by less than a knot on both the upwind and downwind legs. In that race, Team New Zealand reached a top speed of 51.11kn to Luna Rossa’s top speed of 49.78kn.

Luna Rossa co-helmsman Francesco Bruni said they were yet to see Team NZ’s supposed speed advantages.

“There was a lot of talk about Team New Zealand being five, eight, 10 knots faster. That was clearly not the case,” Bruni said.

“We’re glad that we can just race and try to win this.”

Racing has to start by 6pm today, with a call on whether that will happen to be made by 5pm, said Murray.

The forecast for the weekend and beyond is not looking too great for racing either, Murray added.

“Saturday, Sunday, Monday is all similar sort of circumstance. I think there’s more optimism that we’ll get more localised sea breezes, particularly if we get these beautiful warm days on this site. Potentially Course A and Course C with a building morning sea breeze, I think has got more potential.

“I’m encouraged by the heat and fingers crossed.”

Luna Rossa took out the second of two races on the opening day, following on from the defender’s win in the first tussle.

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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