After the defeat in the Prada Cup final at the hands of Red Moon, it’s time to take stock for Ineos Team UK. The British consortium expected more from this edition of the America’s Cup: owner Jim Ratcliffe had invested a budget of around 120 million euros, assembling a crew full of Olympic champions. What is certain is that the British will try again from the next edition: it is no longer a mystery that they should fill the role of Challenger of Record if Emirates Team New Zealand get the better of Red Moon.
In a long interview with Planet Sail, Ben Ainslie, helmsman of Britannia, first of all praised the charm of the new AC75 class: “They are new boats, the development that the teams have managed to accomplish in a short time is incredible. They are the most exceptional boats I have ever raced on. I think it is no coincidence that the final will be between Luna Rossa and the Kiwis. Both we and the Americans have tried from the beginning to close a gap with the New Zealanders and the Italians. We have improved every day, but we have never really bridged this gap. They did a fantastic job developing these boats, they came up with the design of these AC75s. We saw that there was really a difference between those who designed these boats and everyone else. I think Luna Rossa is probably the best at maneuvering“.
The four-time Olympic champion, as he had already announced on several occasions, confirms that the Ineos project does not stop: “Our great motivation is to give the America’s Cup victory to Great Britain for the first time. This gives us strength to go on and try again“.
The 1977 class then said he was intrigued about the rumors that the next edition of theAmerica’s Cup hosted in Middle East: “I don’t know what the Kiwis are going to do and where they will eventually want to host the next edition. They are a very well managed team from a commercial point of view and I am sure that, in any case, it will be a very interesting challenge“.
Ben Ainslie then turned to the challenge between Red Moon ed Emirates Team New Zealand. The British does not seem to leave much hope to the Italians: “My idea is that the Kiwis will probably have a speed advantage above 10-11 knots, but the Italians are in good shape and anything can happen in sport. A sneeze is enough for these boats to capsize. I prefer not to bet money on either. In the World Series we saw the New Zealanders not starting well, but they were much faster than the challengers. I am sure they will have spent a lot of time to improve the starts too“.
Photo: Luna Rossa Press