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Prada Cup Final, Race 6
INEOS Team UK v Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Team UK win by 14 seconds, Luna Rossa lead series 5-1
Finish - Finally, Team UK have something to show for their efforts, taking their first victory by 14 seconds.
Sir Ben Ainslie will breath a deep sight of relief with that result. Is that the switch in momentum he has desperately needed?
Sixth leg - The Italians have gone left, British right, but the lead as stretched to 150m.
UK now out left of the course, Italians right, lead holds at 150m.
The Brits jibe over the top of the Italians, who cross behind, but now 200m back.
Team UK jibe over the top again with the finish closing...
Fifth leg - Now we see how the British self-belief is, after five losses. This is their race to lose...
Both boats travelling 30 knots upwind. UK lead is about 240m. Luna Rossa seem to have an advantage upwind.
The Italians are now eating into that lead and you can hear some alarm in the British voices onboard.
Team UK head left and then tack back to the right, Luna Rossa still heading right towards the boundary.
Luna Rossa tack back to centre and cross behind, but only 130m back.
Team UK laying for the top mark for the last time from the right - their lead is only 60m.
The Brits arrive first and round the left mark, but Luna Rossa are just nine seconds back.
Fourth leg - Both heading down the right of the course, Team UK 230m ahead.
As the Italians follow their rivals back to the centre, the lead stretches beyond 300m and quickly 400m.
Ainslie needs to sail cleanly here and not incur any silly penalties.
Team UK now 500m ahead and now lay for the bottom mark, rounding the left mark.
That downwind leg didn't seem to take much time and all and the Brits have stretched their margin to 32 seconds.
Third leg - The Brits head right and tack back to the centre of the course, with Luna Rossa back to the left.
Italy are holding the deficit at 220m, but Team UK are covering them now.
Both boats heading to the left of the course, Team UK 200m ahead.
Team UK head back to the right of the course and Luna Rossa slow to follow. Both at 32 knots upwind.
The Brits are laying for the gate from the right, still 175m ahead. They round the left mark, but Luna Rossa have made up a few seconds, now 18 seconds behind.
Second leg - Team UK are now 150m clear, heading downwind. Both boats at 36 knots.
The Brits are heading to the right of the course, Luna Rossa heading back to the left.
As the Italians jibe from the left boundary, the lead stretches beyond 200m.
Team UK lay for the bottom mark, still 220m clear. They round the left mark ahead, with Lun aRossa 21 seconds back.
First leg - Advantage Ainlie early, as Team UK lead left and Luna Rossa split to the right.
Basically neck and neck here, although Luna Rossa are yet to tack from the right boundary.
Team UK cross ahead and then tack back to the left. Luna Rossa are back to the right.
Team UK cross ahead and lay for the right mark at the top gate.
The Brits round first with an eight-second lead - their first leg win in this series.
Start - Team UK are foiling in the pre-start, but Luna Rossa are not, with three minutes to go.
Team UK will have port start and enter the start box first. Luna Rossa are up and steaming now from starboard.
The Brits go deep into the box before heading right. They curl back at the boundary and Luna Rossa also head to the limit, before following.
This looks like the first start, but positions are reversed.
Team UK head to the far end of the line and both boats hit the start together, with the Brits leading early.
5:03pm - Word from out on the water is that the wind is building, with about 10 minutes until the next race.
4:52pm - Stars show the Italians reached the top speed of 41.27 knots and travelled more than 1km less than their rivals.
Prada Cup Final, Race 5
INEOS Team UK v Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Luna Rossa win by 1m 20s, lead series 5-0
Finish - Luna Rossa extend their series lead to 5-0 and apart from some drama at the start, where Team UK actually led for the first time, this was another clinical performance.
The Brits approach from the left and cross 1m 20s back.
Sixth leg - Team UK arrive at the top mark, but they have lost ground - now 1m 19s back.
The lead is 1.2km and Luna Rossa will not be headed from here.
The Italians lay for the finish from the right.
Fifth leg - The teams again pass each other on the left layline, with Luna Rossa heading up the right side of the course.
Team UK round the right mark 1m 01s behind and head down the left side of the course.
The lead has actually shrunk to 600m on the water.
Team UK are starting to let the rope out again, as the margin extends out to 800m.
The Italians lay for top gate from the right and round the left mark. They hit 41 knots on that turn, as they head downwind to the finish.
Fourth leg - Team UK are now 58 seconds behind and there's no coming back from that, not in these conditions.
The margin is now almost 1km.
Downwind, the British are cruising at 36 knots - faster than their rivals - and have stemmed the loss momentarily.
Luna Rossa near the bottom gate and round the left mark.
Third leg - Luna Rossa hit the right boundary and tack back, Team UK follow 230m behind.
The Brits are frustrated that they can't make any ground in bad air. The difference extends beyond 400m.
Both boats travelling at 31 knots upwind.
As they approach the top mark again, Luna Rossa are 560m ahead and cruising.
They round the left mark smoothly and Team UK haven't even laid for the mark yet. They pass each other briefly, as the Italians head downwind.
Second leg - Italy's lead is now 250m downwind for the first time.
This is familiar territory for the Brits, who have trailled this entire series and haven't had any success in making up ground.
The margin is reducing and the Brits are quicker right now - the lead is down to 150m.
Nearing the bottom gate, Luna Rossa round first, taking the left mark. Team UK are 20 seconds back.
First leg - Both boats started early and those penalties neutralise. Team UK has another penalty for passing too close to their rivals, so they're on the back foot from the start again.
Team UK take an advantage from the early exchanges, despite their penalty, so race officials tell them they must still pay their penalty, dropping back 50m.
Ainslie is not happy and demanding from the officials what they must do to pay the penalty. They still have 10m to drop... finally they're clear.
Luna Rossa have a 70m, which stretches towards 100m.
Both boats are tacking backwards and forwards together, with Luna Rossa building to 120m ahead.
The Italians take the top gate first, rounding the right mark, with Team UK just 15 seconds back.
Start - Both boats are go through their pre-start rituals. Race committee has declared a race can take place.
Luna Ross will have first port entry for the first race, Team UK from starboard.
Both enter on time, Luna Rossa continue right and Team UK curl back to follow them.
Luna Rossa reach the boundary and turn back towards the start, Team UK continue to the boundary and follow, although they have inside running.
The Italians are running interference and have blocked Team UK from the start, both teams have protested, as they pass close.
4:08pm - Best quote from last Sunday press conference, after Team UK fell 4-0 behind in the best-of-13 series, came from skipper Sir Ben Ainslie.
Asked how this deficit compared to the one he and Jimmy Spithill faced on Oracle Team USA against Team NZ in 2013, when the Kiwis held an 8-1 match point, Ainslie winked: "Is it too early to wonder what would happen if they lost from here?"
Of course, that was the line Spithill tormented Team NZ counterpart Dean Barker with eight years ago. Can it happen again?
2:09pm - Today's racing will take place on Course E, the furtherest north of the six course, bearing in mind the inner harbour courses won't be used at Alert Level 2.
Southwesterly winds of 9-12 knots have been forecast and there's a suggestion racing may be delayed, if teams struggle to get onto their foils before the start.
With the best-of-13 series poised at 4-0 to the Italians, COVID-19 intervened this week to throw another twist to the plot, with the challengers of record - essentially Luna Rossa - insisting that races continue under Alert Level 3, while America's Cup Events (aka Emirates Team NZ) preferred to wait until Level 1.
Lots of name-calling and finger-pointing have finally resulted in a resumption under Level 2, with no spectators at the Cup village and onlookers discouraged from assembling on the shore.
The whole affair has been pretty childish - exactly what you'd expect from the America's Cup.
Back on the water, the Brits are almost at the point where they need a miracle to get back into the contest. Sir Ben Ainslie was totally outsailed by counterparts Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni last weekend, and was unable to make changes to his yacht Britannia during the layoff.
The only improvements he can make now are in his crew.
This series could be over tomorrow.
America's Cup challenger series to resume this weekend
The America's Cup challenger finals between Luna Rossa and Team UK will resume this weekend, organisers have confirmed.
America's Cup Events wanted to delay a return to the water until Auckland had moved back to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 to allow crowds to attend, while challengers of record Luna Rossa remained adamant that racing should continue immediately.
Event organisers aren't happy with the outcome, reluctantly conceding to the Italian syndicate's wishes.
"This is a disappointing situation," says ACE chair Tina Symmans. "It is my responsibility to do my best to run the event with the best interests of the public and all stakeholders in mind.
"ACE now considers the best solution that can be hoped for is to continue racing this weekend, which will at least allow as much opportunity as possible for the public to enjoy the viewing in small gatherings or via the TV broadcast.
"Since Sunday, we have worked really hard on behalf of everyone in Auckland and all Kiwis to give COR [challenger of record] the opportunity to demonstrate some honour and respect for this country, and delay the PRADA Cup until we have a greater chance of everyone being able to enjoy and benefit from being back into Level 1."
Symmans suggests Luna Rossa's stance is a display of disrespect to both the event and the host country.
"Clearly, they have forgotten the words of their leader Patricio Bertelli at the opening press conference, who spoke about how privileged everyone is to be in Auckland without significant COVID restrictions, and that therefore everyone has a commitment and responsibility to deliver great sportsmanship, and the Prada Cup to be a major sporting event.
"This plea has fallen on deaf ears and it's clear that their focus is solely on Luna Rossa taking the Prada Cup, rather than the greater good of the country, who have worked so hard in order to be in a position to stage this event."
ACE outlined a list of restrictions for racing under Level 2, which states:
Racecourses B and C will not be used for racing, to mitigate the chance of large public gatherings on shore, which are in line with Government Level 2 restrictions.
No public viewing opportunities, such as dock-out shows or public screening of racing in the race village.
Gatherings of no more than 100 people in the America's Cup Race Village or public spectator vantage points around Auckland.
Limited village activations to ensure no more than 100 people.
Two-metre physical distancing and face masks recommended.
All bars, restaurants and cafes surrounding the race village can remain open in line with Ministry of Health COVID-19 Level 2 guidelines.
Public are reminded to always scan the NZCOVID19 tracer app.
Luna Rossa have come under fire for their refusal to bow to the organisers' demands.
But Francesco Longanesi Cattani - a spokesperson for Prada chief executive Patrizio Bertelli - has struck back, claiming his team - as challengers of record - are well within their rights.
"I disagree totally with the sporting comments that Tina Symmans has made," he says. "Anything that has to be with sporting fairness, relates to the respect of the rules of regulations, and this is what we’re doing and what we wanted to implement.
"We want to respect the Government provisions regarding the COVID situation and the protocols that have been agreed with the organisers, with ACE, and have been in place, which allow the racing to go on under Level 2.
"The fact that they comment COR is just pushing for Luna Rossa, I disagree, because the opportunity of racing gives INEOS more chances to win races and to win on the water."
While Luna Rossa are keen to restart racing on Friday, race director Iain Murray says that's "unlikely", with some operational adjustments to be worked through under the new Level 2 guidelines.
"We have a press release that says we can race on Saturday and Sunday, so I think racing tomorrow is probably unlikely," Murray says.
"One of the requirements for us, that's been there consistently from the beginning, is to maintain a safe on-water operation and that relies heavily on over 100 volunteers that have been trained to man the safety marshalling boats around the course.
"We had a meeting this morning to discuss that and obviously, because these people are volunteers and some of them are in some restrictions, there’s a fair bit to work through there."
Team UK have expressed their disappointment that the new schedule won't allow for fans, but say they respect the organisers' decision.
"Whilst INEOS TEAM UK has not been consulted, we fully respect and will abide by the decision of ACE, and will be ready to race as requested," they say.
"We believe this potential outcome would be a shame for the racing fans in Auckland, when the city has done such a wonderful job of staging the regatta.
"Given that it is a possibility that Auckland may move to Level 1 by Monday, we feel that delaying the restart until Monday would enable full spectator participation, even if this means racing continues past February.