INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will go head-to-head this weekend in the battle to win the PRADA Cup and the right to take on Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup.
Adding to the thrill of the sailing action on the water is a raft of activities and events for land lovers in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. From food and wine festivals, bike raves, to face painting, buskers, food trucks, and more, the Summernova Festival Series is in full swing.
How the PRADA Cup Finals work
The PRADA Cup is the challenger selection series to determine who will take on defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the final event, The 36th America’s Cup Match in March.
The PRADA Cup is delivered by the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed a spot in the 36th America’s Cup Match. Rather, challengers have had to compete in a series of round robins, followed by a Semi-Final series and now a 13-race Finals between the two leading teams.
With American Magic’s defeat in the semi-finals a few weeks ago, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli secured the spot to take on INEOS Team UK in the PRADA Cup Finals.
There will be up to 13 races in the finals, with the winner being the first to score seven points in the Finals to win the PRADA Cup. There will be two races per day on Saturday (13 February), and Sunday (14 February), on Wednesday 17 February, and then from 19-22 February, if required.
For the loser, the results of the PRADA Cup Finals spell the end of their 36th America’s Cup campaign and a three-plus year journey for the syndicate.
How to watch the action
December and January racing to date has seen thousands turn out on-land and on-the-water, with millions tuning in on screens in New Zealand and around the world. This, says Steve Armitage, Auckland Unlimited General Manager Destination, is a great result for the city, its residents, and visitors.
“A key aim of the 36th America’s Cup has always been to deliver an inclusive and inviting event that engages as many Aucklanders, New Zealanders and overseas fans in the action as possible,” says Armitage.
“It’s been fantastic to see Aucklanders and visitors grab their picnic blankets and head to Maungauika North Head, Takaparawhau Bastion Point, Takapuna Beach and other sites to catch a glimpse of the on-water spectacle and enjoy the vibrant, summer atmosphere,” Armitage says.
The America’s Cup Race Village will also show the action on the big screen on Te Wero Island and in Silo Park.
Making the most of the weekend
The Summernova Festival Series is in full swing this weekend delivering up all the summer good times for food and music lovers, bike enthusiasts, and plenty of whanau fun.
First in the line-up is Street Kai on Takutai (12 February), a full day of music and kai from the city’s favourie street food vendors. On Saturday, the sold-out Sunsetter Food and Wine Festival transforms Smales Farm into a foodie and music haven, along with lots of two-wheel fun and music at the Bike Rave: Sundowner Edition.
Or check out Aotea Square, which has been transformed into a nautical playground for another annual favourite, Auckland Live Summer in the Square. Catch the racing on the big screen, Saturday and Sunday, and stick around for live music, blockbuster movies, snacks and refreshments from the Hello Sailor pop-up bar.
And of course, there will be no shortage of buskers and face painters, happening around the city centre and Mission Bay, with performances across Saturday and Sunday afternoons.