The British media are starting to wake up to the fact they could have a contender to win the America's Cup.
Ineos Team UK booked direct entry into the Prada Cup final with a thrilling victory over Italian boat Luna Rossa yesterday.
It made it five wins from five for Sir Ben Ainslie's team who have decided to not race today, with the scheduled race against Luna Rossa redundant following their win.
'Champagne was flowing'
"The champagne was flowing for Ineos Team UK by the end of the day, with owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, newly-arrived in New Zealand, boarding his winning yacht Britannia to celebrate with his sailors. But it could have been very different. What a race. And what an advert for this new class of America's Cup boat," wrote Tom Cary of the Telegraph.
Cary added that the British team's decision to pull out of racing today won't go down well.
"Ineos' decision not to race on Sunday will not be universally welcomed. American Magic's capsize had already seen four of this weekend's six scheduled races fall by the wayside. So to voluntarily sacrifice another one will not go down well in some quarters. You can understand the call though. These boats are flying machines. One mistake and your entire America's Cup challenge could be over."
'One of the great sporting comebacks'
"It was electric, brilliant sailing and match-racing of the highest order," wrote Magnus Wheatley the Rule69 blog.
"These are the promised uplands that looked so distant back in December. It is one of the great sporting comebacks and all credit to the team," he added.
"Amazing scenes and as Ben said, "that one was for the fans." It certainly was and the whole of Britain is waking up from their dreams this morning and entering a wonderland where Britain could, just could, be on the cusp of one of the greatest sporting victories of our lifetime. Whisper it quietly, but if they keep performing like this on the water and they make the gains in the boat required, then this could be all on for the America's Cup match in March," Wheatley concluded.
'First time the 40 years'
The Times made note of Jimmy Spithill's failure to walk the walk.
"For the first time in nearly 40 years a British team will race in the final of the America's Cup challenger selection series...," Ed Gorman wrote.
"The Italians had been talking themselves up in the build-up to a contest in medium-to-fresh winds on the Hauraki Gulf. But the crew led by Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni were outsailed..." he added.
'Nothing to blame'
Italian media praised Luna Rossa after losing a tight race on Sunday, which saw nine lead changes.
"It was close but the difference was made by the coolness of the British, their tactics and ability to read the gust," said Sailbiz.it.
"Nothing to blame the guys from Luna Rossa, they conducted impeccably, but obviously the medals around Sir Ben Ainslie's neck have a weight."
"Luna Rossa will have to show the best of herself to win the 4 races against American Magic."
The British will now have three full weeks to develop their boat to get ready for the final, whereas Luna Rossa have only six days to fine tune their AC75 before their semifinal race against American Magic who are in a race against time to repair their boat and get back to the startline.
The seven-race semifinal - the first knockout phase of the Prada Cup - starts on Friday 29 January.
The winner of the semifinal faces Ineos Team UK in the 13-race Prada Cup final, which will determine the challenger to take on Team New Zealand in the America's Cup match.
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride.
• Don't forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America's Cup Village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.