America's Cup 2021: AM Show host Mark Richardson takes aim at Luna Rossa over 'disgraceful' racing stance

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's insistence on an immediate return to racing in the America's Cup challengers final series, regardless of a change in the national COVID-19 alert level, has been labelled "disgraceful" by AM Show's Mark Richardson.

On Wednesday, the Italian syndicate issued an ultimatum before the Government's announcement of their decision to shift down a level, that their Prada Cup final against INEOS Team UK must resume on Friday, whether Auckland was at level 2 or 3.

That edict is at odds with the organisers America's Cup events - essentially Emirates Team NZ - who want to delay racing until Auckland returns to level 1, which Team UK agrees with.

"I was angry," Richardson said of his reaction to Luna Rossa's demands.

"They are effectively visitors to this country and you will sail by the laws of the land.

"There are so many people who have given up so much in this country, and you come down here and arrogantly state that 'no, we don't care these are the rules, you've got to sail'.

"It was disgraceful."

Luna Rossa currently holds a handy 4-0 lead over the Brits in their best of-13 series to decide who will race Team NZ in next month's America's Cup.

As challengers of record, Luna Rossa holds power over any changes made in the challengers series. 

But their insistence that racing must finish by February 24 - which would likely hand them victory -  has been viewed by many as an abuse of that power, and combined with their disregard for New Zealand's COVID-19 protocols, means they aren't winning over many Kiwi fans.

Richardson is certainly one such example.

"I'm happy for them to bugger off now, to tell you the truth," he added.

Fellow host Amanda Gillies also weighed in on the "arrogant" Italians.

"They were being dicks, they were being arrogant," Gillies said. 

"They were being a big swinging dick, but we need the money so let them stay."

The Italians will hold a press conference late Thursday morning under their to further explain their position to resume racing.