America's Cup 2021: INEOS Team UK taking no chances, won't race on Sunday with eyes on Prada Cup final

INEOS Team UK have their eyes on the big prize and won't contest their final scheduled Prada Cup round robin race, after deciding the risk was too high for a dead-rubber encounter.

A nerve-racking victory over Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has given the Brits direct entry into the America's Cup challenger final in February.

Sir Ben Ainslie's side now hope to make the most of the valuable time they have off the water to enhance their boat. 

After seeing what can happen in high winds with NYYC American Magic's capsize, Team UK will take no chances by racing on Sunday.

"We said before that we would race if the winds were suitable, but I think the forecast is for wind greater than 20 knots," Sir Ben Ainslie says. "Given that and at this stage of the competition, it's not worth us risking breaking the boat, therefore we decided not to race tomorrow.

"As much as we would love to put on a good showcase for the supporters of the Cup, I think, at this stage, when you're racing these boats at over 20 knots, there is a risk-reward and the risk isn't worth it at this stage."

The Italians are keen to sail on Sunday, but understand the pragmatic position Team UK have taken and will likely be out on the water practicing. 

"I think I understand their position," Luna Rossa helmsman Francesco Bruni says. "It's hard to sail in very strong winds, and you have a lot to lose and not much to gain. 

"But that doesn't change, we have to sail as much as possible and keep improving in order to be as competitive as possible, so we will probably go out on Sunday."

The Prada Cup will be back in action on Friday for the semi-finals, when American Magic will return to the water against Luna Rossa, with two races scheduled. 

Join us at 3pm Friday for live updates of America's Cup challenger racing