New Zealand

America’s Cup 2021: Team New Zealand v Luna Rossa – world media reacts to third day of racing

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Italian media are starting to think it could happen but Luna Rossa lifting the America’s Cup still remains a ‘miracle’ despite another close battle yesterday leaving the match tied at 3-3.

Federico Militello of OA Sport concedes Team New Zealand remain the favourites and that Luna Rossa need to win four starts to get the four wins needed.

“The path to glory therefore remains terribly narrow,” Militello wrote.

“But let’s not forget that we are Italians. A people that often, in history, has accomplished the greatest deeds just when everything seemed lost, exalted in spite of an adverse fate. The New Zealand media, a few days ago, had written that only a miracle could have saved Luna Rossa. Every so often miracles in sport materialize. If we believed it before, why not do it at 3-3? After all, it costs nothing. Luna Rossa: do you believe in miracles?”

Popular yachting site Rule69blog, said any mistake now from either team could decide the regatta.

“The Cup is going nowhere without the mother of all fights.”

“So it’s three all. No real change but the runway is getting shorter. The chance to recover for either team from that day when one of these will record a double win is narrowing. Have a shocker, select the wrong sails, mess up the starts, get it wrong twice and this could quickly fall either way and put one team in the box seat to snatch the Cup,” sailor Magnus Wheatley wrote.

“What’s abundantly clear after the first three days is that both boats are brilliant front-runners. Neither makes tactical mistakes and it’s hard to spot crew errors. Such is the 747 wing effect that running out front on these straight up and down courses is a mighty advantage and, looking at the forecast for the coming days, it’s more of the same. When either boat gets ahead, their unique mode looks like the answer, the code, the DNA of the contest but you just can’t call which one has the advantage. Look at the speeds and it’s all Team New Zealand. But look at the VMG and it’s all Luna Rossa.

“Is this a speed race or a VMG race? Pick your poison. Pay your money. Take your chances. Crystal balls are cloudy. This is anyone’s America’s Cup.”

Tom Cary of the Telegraph made a point that despite it being a 3-3 tie, the actual racing wasn’t that exciting.

“The pattern is becoming uncanny: one boat gets ahead at the start, and goes on to win by a nautical mile. Then the other one comes back and does the exact same thing.”

“Although the hosts kept the gap steady throughout the race, there were no passing lanes on Course A and Luna Rossa made no mistakes, hogging the favoured left side of the course which was unaffected by the fleet of spectator boats and taking any opportunity they could to give their rivals a hard time.

“Organisers will hope for shiftier or heavier conditions going forwards. This match has become tense results-wise, but the individual races have disappointed in terms of action.”

Toby Heppell of Yachting World wrote this could go down as the closest ever match.

“There might be those who had hoped for more passing in these races, that typically see the boat leading out of the start holding onto their lead to the finish, but the contest continues to be on a knife edge and this may yet become one of the closest Cups in the history of the event.”

“These races might lack something of the street brawl cut-and-thrust we were expecting, there may not be passes aplenty, but the regatta itself? You’d have to say it’s an absorbing interest.”

Heading into the Cup racing?

• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.

• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride.

• Don’t forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America’s Cup Village.

• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.

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