Magnus Wheatley predicts further success for Team New Zealand. Photos / Photosport
A prominent sailing expert has laid out bold predictions for the 2021 Copa America competition, including breaking the winning streak for Team New Zealand.
British commentator Magnus Wheatley, who posts on his website Rule69blog, believes the America’s Cup will be the least competitive of all time without a challenger able to finish it even within a minute of the home side.
“Easy first – the New Zealand team will win the Cup by a record difference. It will be blackwash and it will be 7-0,” Wheatley write in a long article.
“It’s quite a shame in the end for a Challenger who won’t come close to any race. The winning margin will range from 1 minute 20 seconds to over 4 minutes.”
Wheatley predicts innovation will be a determinant of this unprecedented outcome.
“The world will be amazed at something the Kiwis will do and it will be an innovation in screen design. Backstays will be gone. Jibs will be very different.
“But great progress will be made on the main dual skin screen. An invisible control system will win this Cup.”
While this prediction will undoubtedly excite screen fans in Aotearoa, his hopes for the future of the event will not happen – especially in Parliament and within the Auckland City Council which has spent millions of dollars on its hosting.
“With Covid still around, and costs under the government’s watchful eye, a decision will be made to place the next venue for tenders and will attract a big cash bid from Dubai-backed Abu Dhabi.
“The Cup will go to the Middle East in 2025. Money doesn’t speak, he screams.”
Wheatley also predicts the end of Grant Dalton’s long and storied reign as team boss and the addition of new honors to his name.
Grant Dalton will announce his retirement after the last race saying, ‘I have achieved everything in this extraordinary sport. I have climbed a fair amount of mountains now and it is time for the next generations to enjoy their moment. ‘ “
“In the 2021 Queen’s birthday awards, Dalton will be named ‘Sir’ Grant Dalton in recognition.”
Elsewhere, Wheatley’s crystal ball predicts a hotly contested Prada Cup in which the beleaguered INEOS Team will be the cause of major disruption.
The Challenger series will be tighter than expected. Prada will make things go early and Francesco Bruni will be a quiet superstar, beating Jimmy Spithill.
“The story of the Challenger series will be the revival of Team Ineos, regardless of the problems faced in attack and rotation, the British will take over and it will be a thrilling victory in the big winds over Prada which will start the demise of the Italians.
“American Magic will only carry the series after qualifying for the finals as round robin winners.”
The first predictions of Wheatley’s long list will be tested starting January 5 when the Prada Cup Challengers’ Series will take place off the coast of Tāmaki Makaurau.
Enjoy a smooth sailing to the Cup with Auckland Transport
• Avoid traffic jams and parking distractions and download the AT Mobile app to plan your bus, train or ferry trip to the racetrack before you leave home.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. That’s the best way to move up to the Cup
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup