America's Cup 2021: Sailing veteran Tom Ehman pessimistic over INEOS Team UK turnaround

America's Cup veteran Tom Ehman believes INEOS Team UK will make no remarkable turnaround in the Prada Cup final series.

The British syndicate trail Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli 4-0 in the best-of-13-race series and while the COVID-19 interruption has given them nearly an extra week to work on their boat, Ehman doesn't think it's enough.

"I'm not confident that they'll be able to make the necessary changes to go fast enough to beat Luna Rossa," Ehman says. 

A veteran of 11 America's Cup campaigns, Ehman knows a thing or two about the Cup and has also seen his fair share of comebacks.

He was apart of Oracle Team USA in 2013 that stunned New Zealand, as they came from 8-1 down to beat the Kiwis 9-8 to retain the 'Auld Mug'.

"There's a big difference between the comeback we did in 2013 and what's going on now," he says. "The challengers did a stupid thing - they handcuffed themselves and cannot change the configuration of the boat until the end of the series.

"From the Monday before the finals series started, they've had to stay in the same measurement configuration, therefore Sir Ben Ainslie and his gang can't do much to their boat.

"They can't change the foils, can't change the rudder and can't change the sails, since they've already measured."

The biggest way Team UK can make up the speed advantage their rivals appears to have on them is through their boat handling and skills on the water.

"They can do some tweaking and will probably improve their software," he says. "They'll probably be in the simulator, improving their tacking and jibing, which has not been as good as Luna Rossa."

The weather is also not helping the Brits, with forecasts suggesting light winds for the weekend, suiting the Italians.

Team UK could hope for good fortune and catch wind shifts at the right time during the race, but they can't rely on that tactic for the entire regatta.

"If they can get shifty conditions, it should - in theory - help the Brits, but I think the problem for Team UK is the Cup is always been about boat speed," says Ehman. 

"Almost all, with one or two exceptions in the 170-year history of the Cup, have been won by the fastest yacht and I think right now, in the context of the Prada Cup finals, the fastest yacht is Luna Rossa.

"Maybe Team UK will make some improvements, but if it's light, I'm afraid they'll be slow.

"If it's mid-to-upper-range, they're probably going to be about the same speed, but we'll see, but they need better starts, which will help them as well."

Ehman hopes for some tight sailing and isn't willing to count out one of the best sailors in the world. 

"He's not the most decorated Olympic sailor for no reason, so don't count out Sir Ben Ainslie."

But as the last year and history have also told us, anything can happen.

Watch the full story above and join us at 4pm Saturday for live updates of the America's Cup challenger final