Day 4

36th America’s Cup – The Round Robins Day 4


I have always been drawn to the highs and lows of sport.

I had the fortune of being right in the action due to my day-to-day role within the Performance Team. During the races I was busy with that job, I’d grab the camera and snap a few shots as and when I could.

A tumultuous journey of emotion as after 3 years of hard work the team started the competition horribly, losing every race during the Christmas Regatta in December 2020.

The next stage was the round robins, every team raced each other three times, with the exception of the New Zealand boat who, as the defender had already qualified for the final.

4-0 up on the final day of racing. No American Magic in site as they are recovering from their recent capsize. A win today ensures qualification to the next stage of the competition without having to race again.

The mood is positive, optimistic yet reserved.

The race boats are stored ashore overnight and need to be craned in and out of the water. As soon as the race boat is off the crane, the giant Union Jack is flown in its place until the return of the boat that night. 

Giles Scott and Rob Wilson talk wind shifts ahead of what would be a very long delay window as those shifts caused havoc for the course layers 

Freddie Carr and Rob Wilson talk through the playbook during the race delay. 

Safety diver carl watches on as the rest of the crew find shelter and food in the performance boat cabin. 

Bleddyn Mon smiles at his crewmates. After sitting around for a while a little warm-up sail has got the team back in the racing mindset and they are ready to go.

frustration is felt by all as The team pulls their only delay card, pushing back the race start even further while an issue is discovered with the cunningham. 

Parko runs the Above deck visual inspection go on to find the route of the hydraulic issues. 

While below deck the systems team work in the darkness to come up with a solution and implement it within the next 10 minutes. 

Ian Jenson and Animal clear the boat as the delay expires. The cunningham will be locked off for the race. Ian aids in the decision as to where it should be locked and Andy Locked it.

There is no more the support team can do now.

INEOS flying past Auckland during the racing. The lead changed a number of times yet the locked-off cunningham didn’t make the difference the Luna Rossa needed. Ineos took the race, and with a ghost start against American Magic, qualified for the Prada Cup final.

Parko and Rob share a laugh post-race. Parkos and Leigh Mcmillan’s ability to fly the boat so accurately in these conditions attributed heavily to the win. 

Animal and Wing trimmer Bleddyn Mon shared a moment of joy as the combination of the whole team’s work in saving what they could results in a win.

The champagne comes out immediately 

The bottles passed around as the INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe steps aboard to congratulate the team.

Jim and the team pose for a photo, celebrating the qualification. 

Back to the dock was always an emotional journey, regardless of winning or losing as the crowd would honk their horns and wave you back in. 

A boat full of supporters wave as we pass.

There was plenty more racing to go, but compared to the Christmas regatta, it didn’t matter, the team had come back after a complete write-off