The Prada Cup dream is over... so what happens next for Ineos Team UK?

22 February 2021 - By Tom Cary, The Telegraph

Telegraph Sport assesses the next move for Sir Ben Ainslie, as well as whether Sir Jim Ratcliffe will keep funding the team

Ineos may have lost out to Luna Rossa in the Prada Cup final, but after a long, hard-fought campaign they still enjoyed a few drinks on Sunday night; ice boxes stacked with beer and rum providing well-earned refreshment to sailing and shore crew alike, everyone gathering underneath Britannia, sitting in her cradle in the boat shed. The team were given a day off on Monday to recover from what has been a frantic period on and off the water, with plenty of all-nighters pulled in the elusive search for extra boat speed. Some staff with young children out in New Zealand apparently did the pick-up and drop-off at Ponsonby Primary School for the first time since arriving in New Zealand six months ago.

Prada Cup final results Best-of-13 series between Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy) and Ineos Team UK (Great Britain). Two races per race day with racing window 4pm-6pm local time (3am-5am UK time) First team to seven race wins progressed to the America's Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand. 

Feb 13: Races 1 and 2 

Feb 14: Races 3 and 4 

Feb 20: Races 5 and 6 

Feb 21: Races 7 and 8 

Feb 22: Races 9 and 10 

Feb 23: Races 11 and 12 

Feb 24: Race 13

On Tuesday, thoughts will turn to the future with a team meeting called where staff will be debriefed on plans going forward; the pack-up of the boat, travel plans, a rough outline of how the land lies etc There is only so much Sir Ben Ainslie will be able to tell them, given we do not yet know who will hold the keys to the next edition of the America's Cup. Italy have earned the right to challenge New Zealand in the 36th Cup match, beginning on March 6. And the landscape may look very different for Ineos depending on who prevails.

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