America’s Cup 2021: Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK beaten by Luna Rossa in Prada Cup final

Luna Rossa has now won 11 of its last 12 races

Luna Rossa celebrated an all-out 7-1 win over Ben Ainslies Ineos Team UK and won the America’s Cup Challenger Series in Auckland.

The Italian boat won both races on Sunday to compete against Team New Zealand for the 36th America’s Cup next month.

Ineos had entered the Prada Cup series as the round robin winner, but was second best.

“Fantastic! Nice,” said Luna Rossa helmsman Francesco Bruni.

“This is a great day for us, a great day for Luna Rossa, a great day for Italy. We are very, very happy. We are now facing a good fight for the America’s Cup.”

Red Moon had led 4-0 when the series was suspended last week after Auckland was placed in a 72-hour coronavirus lockdown.

They won the first race when the action resumed on Saturday, but Ineos gave himself a glimmer of hope win the second race of the day.

But the Italians started Sunday’s races strong, taking race seven by one minute and 45 seconds.

The British boat won the start of the eighth race, but because of the rivals’ superior speed, they took the lead halfway in the first leg before closing the series by a 56-second lead.

It put an end to Britain’s hopes for a first America’s Cup.

“I have to say, well done Luna Rossa and well done Italy,” said Ainslie. “I know reaching the America’s Cup final is a big deal in Italy.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t get through and we have to go away, go back to the drawing board and see what we can do.”

The Best-of-13 America’s Cup starts on March 6th.

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