As has been the case in several storylines through the America's Cup campaign, the Challenger of Record have again been cast as the villain - this time by America's Cup Event Limited (ACE) - because they wish to follow the rules and procedures in place for dealing with a Covid-19 alert level change.
On Wednesday, ACE released a statement expressing their hope to postpone the remainder of the Prada Cup final should Auckland remain in Covid-19 alert level 3 or if the city moved into level 2. The statement noted their position was based on what was best for the city, as well as pointing out Luna Rossa's firm stance against any delay.
What the release did not mention were the protocols in place should Auckland be impacted by a change in Covid-19 alert levels, and the fact the regatta rules set February 24 as the end of the challenger series - without any possible extension. Instead, ACE said the Challenger of Record wished to complete the Prada Cup "in accordance with the existing Prada Cup conditions."
The event has protocols in place to allow it to go ahead without fans in attendance and run to the timeline agreed upon, much like fans of the Australian Open tennis tournament have seen in the past week.
The Challenger of Record had to point these things out, stating the exact article in the rules which specified the agreed upon timeline, and the name of the plans with information of how an alert level change would be managed.
Luna Rossa indicated their desire to continue as planned was also based on meeting the legitimate expectations of the competitors involved, of the international public and of the international television networks who have already programmed their broadcasts.
That's not unreasonable.
On Thursday morning, ACE chair Tina Symmans released a new statement confirming there would be no delay in racing, and took the opportunity to question the honour and respect of the Challenger of Record.
"Since Sunday, we have worked really hard on behalf of everyone in Auckland and all Kiwis to give COR the opportunity to demonstrate some honour and respect for this country and delay the Prada Cup until we have a greater chance of everyone being able to enjoy and benefit from being back into level 1," Symmans said.
"Clearly they have forgotten the words of their leader Patricio Bertelli at the opening press conference who spoke about how privileged everyone is to be in Auckland without significant Covid restrictions and that therefore everyone has a commitment and responsibility to deliver great sportsmanship.
"This plea has fallen on deaf ears and it's clear that their focus is solely on Luna Rossa taking the Prada Cup rather than the greater good of the country who have worked so hard in order to be in a position to stage this event."
Yes, we're in a superhero movie now and the battle for "the greater good" is underway.
There are hopes Auckland could move back to level 1 as soon as Monday, but we've already seen how unpredictable the Covid-19 environment is, how alert levels can change rapidly, and just how long the threat can linger once it is in the community.
As the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa would have had to agree to any delay in racing for it to be implemented. But with procedures already in place for such a situation as Auckland is going through, why would they take that risk?
Let's not forget the move down to level 2 means social gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted, there are just social distancing guidelines to follow. Eateries can remain open, the spectator fleet can still roll out, and people can still watch the racing on television.
The move down to level 2 seems like the best outcome from the situation involving the new community Covid-19 cases, especially given the fact there were two new cases in the community confirmed on Thursday. If there are protocols in place to allow the event to continue in the environment we're living in, why are Luna Rossa being vilified for wanting to follow them?
Would they be cast in the same role if the risk to the community grew in the next week to the point where even those protocols would not allow for racing?
It's not an ideal situation and while it might get better soon, it could also get much worse. Luna Rossa don't deserve to be made the scapegoat of local frustrations.