America's Cup 2021: Luna Rossa Prada Pirellia sweep American Magic to secure challengers final spot

NYYC American Magic have fallen short of a fairytale comeback and are out of America's Cup contention.

Italian rivals Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli have swept the New York Yacht Club entry 4-0, progressing to next month's challenger final, where they will now face INEOS Team UK.

Two weeks after their spectacular crash on the same Course A, the Americans needed at least one win on Saturday to keep their hopes alive, but were unable to find another gear against a team that showed increasing mastery of the fickle AC75 foiling monohull.

After failing to fire a shot during Friday's starting sequences, Magic helmsman Dean Barker at least held his own early and actually led briefly during the opening leg of Saturday's first race.

But as both boats tacked from the left hand boundary, Luna Rossa won the drag race to the righthand limit and were never headed from that point.

Lagging by 41 seconds at the halfway mark, the Americans managed to halve that lead downwind on the next leg, but that was as close as they got, with the Italians extending back out to an eventual 35-second winning margin.

Guided by Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni, Luna Rossa dominated the second start and as American Magic split to the opposite side of the course, they conceded an immediate 100-metre deficit that grew by the second.

As they reached the top mark, the Americans experienced problems lowering their foils, which hampered them throughout the rest of the journey, costing them valuable seconds and repeatedly forcing them outside the course.

After their superhuman efforts to patch up their yacht Patriot, they could only sit powerless, as the Italians sailed away to victory.

"We had a great start and demonstrated once again that we are strong on the starting line," says Bruni. "We were ready for a fair and sporting battle, but unfortunately the Americans had some problems and it was clear their boat was not functioning well, and I'm very sorry for it.

"Honestly, I feel they've done a fantastic job, after what they have gone through. Their boat was a good boat, their team was a great team and it's really sad, because they are great competitors."

American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson is barely consolable over the result.

"What you saw when Patriot got back out on the water was a high level of resolve from the entire team to not let the programme end like that," he says. "Yesterday was hard, today we sailed the boat better.

"I have nothing but pride for what we've done over the last three-and-a-half years. Obvious, our measure is the result sheet and without question, that is the most disappointing part."

The Prada Cup racing schedule takes a two-week break now, but Luna Rossa and Team UK will undoubtedly use that time wisely to further develop their boats and their knowledge of the craft, before racing off for the right to face Emirates Team NZ in March.