Emirates Team New Zealand have been crowned the winners of the 35th America's Cup! The Kiwis only needed one point to take the Auld Mug home and they did so in the first race of the day against ORACLE TEAM USA. See the pictures here

26 June 

Emirates Team New Zealand have won the 35th America’s Cup.

Peter Burling and his men started the race against ORACLE TEAM USA strongly again holding a 26 second lead at the third gate in Race 9. It went swimmingly from there with Emirates looking confident and being fast, increasing their lead to 34 seconds at the fourth mark.

Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA managed to catch up a little, but Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finishing line for the final time in the 35th America’s Cup 55 seconds ahead of the US team.

Emirates Team New Zealand were certainly very strong during the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup, winning eight races to ORACLE TEAM USA’s one race win. They’ve won the America’s Cup 7-1.

Emirates Team New Zealand are now the 36th America’s Cup Defender.

“We’re blown away but what we’ve achieved out there today”, commented Peter Burling, who at 26 is the youngest helmsman to win the Cup in its 166 years history ,”for ourselves…for myself, it’s just sinking in…to be here in Bermuda and be part of an incredibly special team, and bringing the trophy back home, it’s something that I think I’ll remember for the rest of my life. “

man holding trophy

 

ORACLE TEAM USA, Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR and Artemis Racing all took to Twitter to congratulate Emirates:

 

 

Watch the post race the press conference below 

25 June

Leaderboard

Emirates Team New Zealand won both America’s Cup races against ORACLE TEAM USA today, Sunday 25 June.

Peter Burling’s team showed great technique and speed again today in Bermuda whilst ORACLE TEAM USA had a slower start in Race 8, the second of the day, and were later given a penalty for sailing through the boundary.

The Kiwis are now leading with 6-1 and only need one point to take the oldest trophy in the sporting world away from the Americans. The next, and potentially final, race is scheduled for tomorrow at 6.12pm UK time.

24 June

Results after day three of the America's Cup 2017 finals

America’s Cup Defenders, ORACLE TEAM USA are fighting back.

Jimmy Spithill and his men have won their first race against Emirates Team New Zealand, although there is still a long way to go.

Currently, the Kiwis are 4-1 up – to win the silverware they need to hit the magic number – seven.

Two America's Cup catamarans go neck and neck

At times the racing was exceptionally close. Credit: ©ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

The fifth America’s Cup Match race between the two teams saw ORACLE TEAM USA hampered by two penalties.

Clearly they have spent the last week working and refining their racing catamaran because it was certainly quicker than last weekend.

But in that first race, the Kiwis showed superior tactics, comfortably crossing the finish line ahead.

Continued below…

But ORACLE TEAM USA were not going to let that throw them.

They took a small but significant landmark, taking an early lead in race six.

It was neck-and-neck, with the USA just slightly ahead until ORACLE decided to jib ahead of Gate 4, allowing Emirates to beat them to the gate.

ORACLE continued to look for any advantage, and at times it was exceptionally close. But, they just managed to do, crossing the finish line to claim their first win of the regatta.

Jimmy Spithill dressed in grey and a black lifejacket

Relief for Jimmy Spithill after his first win of the match. Credit: ©ACEA 2017/Gilles Martin-Raget

As we know from the 2013 America’s Cup, ORACLE TEAM USA are perfectly capable of fighting back and winning…It is certainly going to get interesting from now on!

 

18 June

leaderboard

Emirates Team New Zealand had another strong day of racing as they won both matches against ORACLE TEAM USA in the 35th America’s Cup.

The Kiwis now have a 3-0 lead over the Americans.

In the fist race of the day ORACLE TEAM USA had a small advantage as they approached the first mark. However a poor jibe by ORACLE TEAM USA caused them to make a small splashdown into the water. Peter Burling and his men seized the opportunity and won by 11 seconds.

Both teams started off strongly in the second race, but it was Emirates Team New Zealand’s speed that saw them winning again, with a minute advantage.

17 June

Ranking after day 1 of the America's Cup

Game on! Or maybe not quite for the Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA, who were left 0-1 down after the first day of racing in the 35th America’s Cup.

It didn’t start well for Jimmy Spithill and his men – they were handed a two-boat length penalty for crossing the start line early in the first race against Challengers Emirates Team New Zealand.

Many are seeing the 35th America’s Cup Match as a rematch of the 2013 final, when ORACLE TEAM USA performed one of the most amazing comebacks in sport.

On the waters of San Francisco on 18 September 2013, ORACLE were 8-1 down against New Zealand but they fought back, eventually securing a 9-8 victory and the 34th America’s Cup.

Clearly the pressure was on ORACLE skipper Jimmy Spithill today.

ORACLE TEAM USA went into the match with a valuable one point advantage, after winning the Qualifiers. But, they lost it.

 

Earlier, the two times America’s Cup winner, Spithill, had said: “I think you have two of the best teams in the world going head-to-head in a real heavyweight battle, it’s going to be one hell of a fight.” He wasn’t wrong.

Emirates Team New Zealand took the first match, although it was close at times.

And it was this momentum that the Kiwis held onto, crossing the start line ahead of ORACLE TEAM USA in the second race of the day.

But Jimmy Spithill and his crew were determined to close the gap, and for a while, they fought back.

But, an unsuccessful penalty claim by ORACLE TEAM USA meant that Emirates Team New Zealand stayed ahead, crossing the finish line and securing their second win of the day.

But before anyone gets too excited – remember 2013 – nothing is certain when it comes to the battle between Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE TEAM USA.

 

12 June

Despite the lack of winds which saw the first race abandoned and a further delay of two hours, the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals went ahead today with Emirates Team New Zealand winning against Artemis Racing in the first race. As the Kiwis only needed one point to get to five, it was all over for the Swedes as Burling’s men became the official 35th America’s Cup Challenger.

Artemis had a slight advantage at the start, but by Gate 2 Emirates were already leading by 19 seconds.

Peter Burling’s team were incredibly fast and reached the finishing line first, winning that coveted one point they needed to become the America’s Cup Challenger and face ORACLE TEAM USA.

men on catamaran

Peter Burling commented immediately after crossing the line to victory: “We feel like we’re in great shape to take on Oracle now.

“Artemis has been an amazing partner. They’ve pushed us incredibly hard… they’ve put us in good shape for the Cup.”

He continued: “We’re here to bring the Cup back to New Zealand and that hasn’t changed. We’ve gone through a lot of adversity… We’re super-excited to take on Oracle.”

men spraying champagne

The Kiwis tweeted:

Tweet

 

Whilst surely disappointed, Artemis Racing graciously congratulated their opponents with a tweet:

tweet

Emirates will now face the Defender on Saturday, 17 June.

 

11 June

leaderboard

Emirates Team New Zealand had another strong America’s Cup day as they won two races against Artemis Racing and are again at the top of the leaderboard with 4 points, whilst the Swedes have 2.

Artemis started strong and won the first race of the Challenger Playoff Final, but Emirates won the second and third race of the day.

Artemis had to retire from the second race due to control system issue.

The two teams will face each other again tomorrow when the first to accrue 5 points will go through to the match with Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA.

 

10 June

Emirates Team New Zealand leads in the America's Cup Challengers Playoffs Finals day 1

It wasn’t Artemis Racing’s day as the Swedes and Emirates Team New Zealand battled it out for the right to Challenge ORACLE TEAM USA for the 35th America’s Cup.

Artemis helmsman Nathan Outteridge went man overboard during the third race, seriously hampering the team’s efforts.

Outteridge suffered no injuries as a result of his dunk in the ocean – just frustration when the Kiwis crossed the line.

America's Cup Qualifiers Playoffs Finals

Currently, Emirates Team New Zealand are 2-1 up in the finals.

It was a tense three races, with Artemis Racing showing great tactics – crossing the start line first in every race.

But the Kiwis recovered quickly and in race one crossed the finish line a full 47 seconds ahead of the Swedes.

 

Artemis was punished in that race by a particularly poor tack and a penalty when they strayed off the course.

The second race saw fierce competition, with both teams foiling for virtually the entire race.

But it was Artemis who showed winning tactics and crossed the finish line to make it all square.

The third race of the day was incredibly tight, with Emirates pushing hard to close the gap on Artemis.

It was neck-and-neck until disaster for the Swedes when their helmsman, Nathan Outteridge, went overboard.

There was quick thinking by Artemis grinder Luke Parkinson, who took over the helm.

 

9 June

leaderboard

With already four points, they only needed one more to secure their place in the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Final and today Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis Racing did just that and won their race against SoftBank Team Japan.

The Swedes will now face Emirates Team New Zealand on Saturday, before one of the two teams will accrue enough points to face Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA in a bid to win the 35th America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup tweeted immediately after the match with SoftBank Team Japan:

tweet

And Artemis tweeted:

tweet

 

Artemis will now race Emirates on Saturday 10 June, in what will sure be a very exciting match.

8 June

leaderboard

Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR‘s America’s Cup dream is over after losing two races against Emirates Team New Zealand.

The two teams raced each other thrice today, with the Kiwis, back in top form after a dramatic capsize in high winds that seriously damaged their boat on Tuesday June 6, winning the first and third race against the British team and thus securing a 5-2 win.

Ainslie admitted that the weather caused Land Rover Bar issues, saying: “We were struggling in some conditions, certainly in the light airs. We were able to address that to an extent. Ultimately we didn’t quite get there in time but it was not through lack of effort.”

However, true to form, Ben Ainslie and his men are already concentrating on winning the next America’s Cup and tweeted:

tweet

Sir Ben Ainslie commented: “I was really proud of the way the team sailed today and the way we approached the whole series. The whole team, the designers, the shore team, the sailing team, everyone worked really hard to get us competitive. We did that throughout the competition. A huge thank you to everyone back home supporting us. We will be back next time and we will be stronger.”

Artemis Racing won all three races against SoftBank Team Japan semifinal with 4-3. They will race on Friday, 9 June, to decide who will progress to the Challenger Finals.

Emirates Team New Zealand will not be racing on Friday, but will face tomorrow’s winning team on Saturday to the Finals.

6 June

America's Cup rankings on day two of the Qualifiers

First it was not enough wind, then too much.

24-knots is the limit for these America’s Cup catamarans, and plenty of wind and squalls resulted in challenging conditions for Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artmeis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan on day two of the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals.

A damaged America's cup racing cat

Damage caused to New Zealand. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

The final race of the day between Sir Ben Ainslie and his team and Emirates Team New Zealand was the most dramatic, with the Kiwis pitchpoling before they even reached the start line of their fourth race against the Brits.

Thankfully everyone was accounted for, and Emirates, once righted, headed to the dock to assess the damage. Land Rover BAR took the much needed point.

Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling later said: “As a group of New Zealanders we are incredibly resilient and we will get the boat back to 100 per cent.”

A capsized catamaran

Luckily everyone was accounted for. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

It was not the result Land Rover BAR wanted. They are currently 1-3 against Emirates after wing damage resulted in the Brits retiring from their first semi-final race and then forfeiting their second race yesterday.

Not unsurprisingly, Sir Ben Ainslie and his men were keen to prove their worth today.

They had a lightening quick start against Emirates on their first race today.

America's Cup racing in squally, windy conditions

Challenging conditions for the teams. Credit: ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

But, a nose dive halted Land Rover BAR‘s momentum and a slight mistake at Gate 4 allowed Emirates Team New Zealand to take the lead which they never lost, although it was neck and neck for much of the race.

It was an incredible win for the Kiwis, who were against the clock to replace a damaged wing just minutes before the race. They reached speeds of 45-knots over the course.

As Sir Ben later noted – these were the “toughest racing conditions” he had seen.

Commenting on the Kiwi’s capsize, Sir Ben said: “The most important thing is that everyone is okay on Emirates Team New Zealand after their capsize. I think all four teams out there showed great seamanship to deal with these boats in these conditions. It was absolutely full on.We look forward to seeing them back on the race course.”

“It was unbelievable racing in gusts up to 27-28 knots. Certainly, in thirty years of racing boats, it was the most full-on, exhilarating moment I’ve ever had. It was incredible out there,” he continued.
“I liken it to skiing on ice. No holds barred; if you start to slow up and play it safe that’s when it is worse. When you sail these boats fast it is very rewarding, but in conditions like today sometimes it is not possible. Days like today it is the ultimate team sport,” added Sir Ben.

Land Rover BAR have their work cut out tomorrow – they need to win four of the remaining five races to make it into the finals of the Qualifiers which will decide who are the Challengers for the 35th America’s Cup.

Today was certainly SoftBank Team Japan‘s day, winning both their races against Artemis Racing.

At times it was heart-in-your-mouth viewing.

In the first race today, both boats sustained damage.

White spray flies over the deck of SoftBank Team Japan's America's Cup cat - Hikari

Softbank Team Japan are now 3-1 against Artemis Racing. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

At one point, Artemis Racing appeared to throw a loose piece of their boat overboard, and helmsman Nathan Otteridge showed impressive handling, righting the boat after it lifted to one side while rounding Gate 3.

However, SoftBank remained out in front, despite minimal damage to their boat’s fairing – with Hikari hitting speeds of 40 knots.

Dean Barker and his men crossed the finish line first, with Artemis eventually retiring from the race.

Their second encounter of the day was also exciting.

SoftBank had another strong start against Artemis, but a penalty against the Swedes on leg 2 seriously hampered them.

Artemis’ tactician Iain Percy appeared furious with the decision – some might say rightly so considering they were penalised in Round Robin One – a decision the America’s Cup Chief Umpire later admitted was a mistake

SoftBank Team Japan went on to win, giving them a 3-1 lead of Artemis

 

5 June

Rankings in the America's Cup Qualifiers semi finals

Wing damage resulted in Land Rover BAR being forced to retire from their first race in the America’s Cup  Challenger Playoffs semi-finals.

Frustratingly for Sir Ben Ainslie and his team, R1 suffered wing damage just after the race began, resulting in the catamaran dropping off its foils.

It meant they were forced to retire from the first race, allowing Emirates Team New Zealand to take the point.

Tweeting just minutes after the race ended, Sir Ben Ainslie wrote: “We are assessing the damage and looking to change to the spare wing”.

Under America’s Cup rules, the team has until the time of the next race to fix the problem.

America's Cup team Land Rover BAR tweet after damage to their wing

The team doing everything possible in limited time to be ready for their second race against Emirates Team New Zealand

But, disappointedly this wasn’t to be, and Land Rover BAR announced they were withdrawing from their second match against Emirates.

Land Rover BAR withdrawal from the second race

The Kiwis went out onto the course, and crossed the start line, treating the race as a training lap to take the point. It means they are now two points ahead of Land Rover BAR.

Commenting on the situation, Sir Ben said: “It’s a really tough situation for the team. Rounding the first leeward gate, we had a breakage in our wing control system, which meant we had to retire from the race.”

“It is an extremely bitter pill for the whole team to swallow given that this is the first two races of the playoffs against ETNZ, but it’s something we can deal with and we have the team to turn it around and come back fighting tomorrow,” he added.

Land Rover BAR wing trimmer, Paul Campbell-James, gave this assessment.

“We were absolutely level pegging with the New Zealand team. Giles (Scott) had chosen the best way to go round the mark and we were executing a normal mark rounding – as we’ve done over a 1000 times in this campaign – and the wing just went pop,” he said.

“It went from our normal setting to having max power on the wing camber with no way of controlling it. We are absolutely gutted.”

“We will see the damage when we take the wing apart. It’s just one of those things in sport and tomorrow is another day, fantastic forecast and we are going to absolutely sock it to them,” promised Campbell-James.

It was initially neck and neck in the first race between Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan, before America’s Cup veteran Dean Barker and his men took the lead over the Swedes on leg three.

But Artemis Racing fought back hard, cutting SoftBank’s initial 21 second lead.

However, it wasn’t to be, and with SoftBank foiling for the majority of the race, they took the first race of the series.

Two America's cup boats foiling

Artemis Racing and SoftBank Japan had two close races. Credit: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Ricardo Pinto

There was controversy in the second race between the Swedes and Japan, with Artemis calling for a penalty in the pre-start which was refused.

SoftBank made it across the starting line first and continued to hold on initially before Artemis demonstrated better tactics and crossed the finish line first.

This leaves the two teams at 1-1.

 

4 June

Sir Ben Ainslie and the rest of Land Rover BAR will have to wait 24 hours before they face perhaps their biggest rivals,  Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals.

A lack of wind meant racing on day one of the semi-finals had to be postponed.

Yesterday, Emirate Team New Zealand‘s helmsman, Peter Burling, announced that the Kiwis had decided to face Land Rover BAR in the semi-finals.

At the time, Sir Ben admitted it would be “a real battle” for his team, but added “we are up for it and looking forward to it”.

Artemis Racing take on SoftBank Team Japan.

Both of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals will be decided by a first to five points race format, with the winners of each Semi-Final then facing each other in the Finals of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.

 

The Playoffs will decide which Challenger will go on to compete against ORACLE TEAM USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match.

Meanwhile during the Dock Out show ahead of racing today, Land Rover BAR, along with the rest of the America’s Cup Village, stood in silence with their heads bowed to remember the victims of the London terror attack last night.

Ben Ainslie tweet about the London terror attack at London Bridge and Borough Market

Seven people died and dozens of others were injured after a white van was driven into pedestrians on London Bridge last night, before three men, armed with knives, attacked people in Borough Market. The three men were later shot dead by police.

Sailors dressed in t shirts and baseball caps bow their heads to remember those killed in the terror attack in London

Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR and the rest of the America’s Cup Village remember the victims of the London terror attack. Credit: ACEA 2017/Gilles Martin-Raget

After hearing about the attack, Sir Ben Ainslie took to Twitter saying: “Hard to take the news of more attacks in London. Thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved”.

 

3 June

Results in America's Cup at the end of the Qualifiers

The final day of the America’s Cup Qualifiers and the first match was perhaps the one all eyes were focused on when Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA took on Emirates Team New Zealand.

It was a tough race for the Kiwis, who after winning both their matches yesterday were top of the table.

But Jimmy Spithill and his men showed why they have won the Auld Mug twice, out manoeuvring Emirates Team New Zealand in an impressive display.

From the moment the USA took the start, they were out in front, and won the race 29-seconds ahead.

It means ORACLE TEAM USA has won the Qualifiers, allowing them to take a valuable one point advantage into the 35th America’s Cup Match.

“What a great effort from the team, the entire team,” Spithill said after the race against Emirates Team New Zealand.

“We had a little issue before the race, but it didn’t phase the boys. Great training for us to get a high pressure race like that and come out on top. Two for two against the Kiwis… we have a lot of work to do, but great to see the boys pull it out under pressure,” he added.

It was also a fantastic day for Land Rover BAR with a solid start in their race against SoftBank Team Japan.

Two America's Cup racing cats on the water

Land Rover BAR’s tactics gave them their first win of the day against SoftBank Team Japan. Credit: ACEA 2017/Gilles Martin-Raget

But the Brits were not having it all their own way, with Dean Barker and his team recovering to close the gap to make it a tense and exciting race to the finish line.

A tweet from Land Rover BAR

Land Rover BAR won against SoftBank Team Japan

However, Land Rover BAR showed winning tactics, beating SoftBank by 13 seconds.

The last race of the Qualifiers saw former team mates, Sir Ben Ainslie and Jimmy Spithill go head-to-head once more.

ORACLE TEAM USA crossed the start line ahead and remained so throughout the match, although the Brits certainly didn’t give up the chase.

But it wasn’t enough and the Americans crossed the finish line 36 seconds ahead. It means Land Rover BAR are currently third in the standings on six points.

Earlier, Artemis Racing comfortably won against Groupama Team France, who racked up penalties during the match. The America’s Cup dream is now over for the French side.

Groupama Team France sail

Groupama Team France thanks Bermuda for its hospitality. Credit: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Ricardo Pinto

Tomorrow will see the start of the the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals.

Emirates Team New Zealand have chosen Land Rover BAR to face in the semi-finals, while Artemis Racing take on SoftBank Team Japan.

Both of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals will be decided by a first to five points race format, with the winners of each Semi-Final then facing each other in the Finals of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.

The Playoffs will decide which Challenger will go on to compete against ORACLE TEAM USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match.

In deciding on Land Rover BAR, Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling said: “We believe with the forecasts over the coming week that it represents our best chance of progressing through.”

In response, Land Rover BAR helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie said his team is prepared for the challenge ahead.

“It is going to be a close race, but to win the America’s Cup you have to beat all the teams,” said Sir Ben.

“Emirates Team New Zealand have certainly proved through this qualifying round to be sailing really well. They are very fast and so for us it will be a real battle,” he continued.

“However, we are up for it and looking forward to it,” added Sir Ben.

2 June

Many thought that America’s Cup Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA would sail through (excuse the pun) easily in their race against Artemis Racing, but the Swedes have come back with a bang and unexpectedly beat the Americans by 24 seconds in their first race of the day, and later bagged another victory against SoftBank Team Japan.

ORACLE suffered a broken rudder before the race began but had it repaired ahead of the match.

Skipper Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis were clearly in high spirits after the win and they celebrated by posting this tweet which  shows their delight at today’s results.

artemis racing america's cup

Emirates Team New Zealand also had a victorious day, winning the match against SoftBank and later celebrating another success against Groupama Team France.

These wins now put the Kiwis at the top of the America’s Cup leaderboard with 8 points, one more than Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA.

leaderboard

Emirates Team New Zealand will face ORACLE TEAM USA tomorrow, Saturday 3 June, in what is going to be a nail-biting match. However, thanks to today’s win, the Kiwis have secured their place in the semi-finals, meaning they will be able to select their opponents then.

Sadly Groupama Team France have now been eliminated from the competition. Whilst they are still racing against Artemis on Saturday, their points from the America’s Cup World Series are not enough to beat the other teams ahead of the challengers finals.

1 June 

It was a bittersweet day for Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR as they lost a race against Emirates Team New Zealand but later managed to come out victorious against Groupama Team France, albeit by a small margin, in the 35th America’s Cup. Ainslie and his men will now go through to the playoff round.

screenshot of a tweet

It was not a successful day for Franck Cammas’s team, who had earlier lost the match against SoftBank Team Japan. Both teams struggled at first due to the light winds that saw yesterday’s racing postponed to today, but SoftBank, led by Dean Barker, crossed the finishing line first, and bagged that much coveted point.

However despite the Japanese team’s successful first race against the French, they later lost against Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA, who are currently ranking at the top with seven points.

leaderboard ranking

30 May

After a disappointing match on day three of the competition, Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR came back with a bang and won a second race against Artemis Racing in the 35th America’s Cup.

The British team arrived at the finishing line with a 30 second advantage and won the race. After a disappointing result in Round Robin 1, with just one win under their belt, Land Rover BAR hit the highest speed of the competition so far – just over 43 knots – and managed to keep ahead of the Swedish team.
The win sees Land Rover BAR move four points in the standing, two full points ahead of Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France.

Artemis Racing raced against Emirates Team New Zealand earlier in race 1, but despite a 20 seconds lead, Emirates recovered and crossed the finishing line by three seconds.

ORACLE TEAM USA won the second race of the day and beat Franck Cammas’s Groupama Team France, finishing the race one minute and 56 seconds ahead of the French team.

Groupama Team France were already seven seconds behind crossing the start line and were not helped by a penalty for crossing the boundary mark on leg two.

america's cup ranking 30/05/17

 

 

29 May

It is proving to be a challenging America’s Cup for Sir Ben Ainslie and his team.

At the end of the Round Robin 1 matches on day three of the competition, Land Rover BAR has won just one race. All the team have now sailed each other once.

But, Sir Ben, is not throwing in the towel yet.

Land Rover BAR now lie in third place on three points, including the two points carried over from team’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS).

ORACLE TEAM USA top the leaderboard with five from four wins and one-point from the ACWS, with Emirates Team New Zealand on four points. Behind them, the rest of the fleet are all square on two points.

“I think it’s proven to be a really close competition which is great for the America’s Cup,” commented Sir Ben.

“Clearly we are not the fastest upwind in some conditions and we need to improve that. It’s the nature of the America’s Cup, it’s the nature of the sport.”

“We are in a fight with some of these teams to avoid this final elimination spot and keep ourselves in the competition – but that’s the challenge,” continued the British skipper.

“The team will regroup tonight and come back strong. The competition has already demonstrated that any team can win any race.”

“We have the talent and the determination, and with five points still available this is a long way from over,” stressed Sir Ben.

There was also disappointment for Artemis Racing in their match against Emirates Team New Zealand.

The Swedish team were forced to drop two-boat lengths behind their rivals after being handed a penalty for crossing the start fractionally early.

A foiling catamaran passes in front of another racing boat in Bermuda

Controversial match between Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. Credit: © ACEA 2017/ Ricardo Pinto

Artemis managed to catch up with the Kiwis and then swapped the lead with them multiple times throughout the race, but at the final mark there was a dramatic penalty called against the Swedes for not leaving the Kiwis enough room.

Artemis Racing continued towards the finish line, but had to take their penalty, allowing Emirates Team New Zealand to take the win at the line.

Skipper Nathan Outteridge, team manager and tactician Iain Percy and their crew looked devastated at the end of the race and finished day three on two points, equal with Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan.

“We are still shocked by what happened,” commented Outteridge.

Having won only one race in the previous two days, the pressure was on for SoftBank Team Japan, who clinched a welcome win int he final race of day three, beating Groupama Team France.

Sailors grinding

Grinding hard – the men of SoftBank Team Japan. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Gilles Martin-Raget

Skipper Dean Barker and his men go out of the start box 10 knots faster then Groupama Team France, giving the Japanese a comfortable win – crossing the finish line a whole two minutes and 34 seconds ahead of their rivals.

“It isn’t a feeling of relief for me because I didn’t feel under pressure,” said helmsman Dean Barker after the race. “The best thing for me is that we executed a great race and claimed the victory,” he added.

 

28 May

Variable winds across Bermuda’s Great Sound tested all six teams during day two of the America’s Cup.

While Land Rover BAR managed to get back on the water after their dramatic clash with SoftBank Team Japan on the opening day, they suffered back-to-back defeats, losing against ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand.

British skipper Sir Ben Ainslie had this assessment of their performance, as well as praising his shore team for getting R1 back on the water.

“It was an incredible effort from the shore team who worked tirelessly through the night to repair the damage and get us ready for today,” said Ainslie. “It is just a shame we couldn’t repay them in the races today.”

“We just didn’t get it right and made too many mistakes but we’ll learn from it and move on,” he added. “We’ll look at doing a bit more work on the boat tonight but I don’t think the damage affected our performance too much at all.”

R1 - Britain's America's Cup boat on the water foiling

Land Rover BAR’s shore team worked through the night to get R1 back on the water. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

Meanwhile, strong performances from Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE TEAM USA is perhaps giving some indication as to the teams to watch.

To date, ORACLE TEAM USA has only lost one match so far – with the Swedes Artemis Racing claiming victory over the Defenders. It means ORACLE is now top of the table.

Having endured mixed fortunes on the opening day, in which they won one race and lost the other, Emirates Team New Zealand started day two in spectacular fashion with a high-quality display to beat SoftBank Team Japan by 33 seconds in race 9.

Two America's Cup boats fight it out with disappointing results for Land Rover BAR

A disappointing day for Land Rover BAR. Credit: © ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

However, they did not have it all their own way as they had to battle back from behind against Dean Barker’s team as SoftBank Team Japan gained the better momentum out of the start box, leading going into mark 1.

The Japanese team lost some of that momentum with a nosedive going into the third gate but they managed to recover brilliantly to build a 13 second advantage at gate 4.

However, the tides turned on the fifth leg, as Emirates Team New Zealand demonstrated the full speed of their pedal-powered grinding systems. Tacking and jibing incredibly smoothly, the Kiwis chased down their rivals before overhauling them heading for gate 5.

Sailors cycling on an America's Cup boat

Pedal power helps Emirates Team New Zealand romp home to victory. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Ricardo Pinto

In the latter stages of the race they found themselves 11 seconds ahead, before racing for the finish line to claim a second victory in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers.

The variable winds over the Great Sound racecourse came to the fore in race 10, as Artemis Racing prevailed in a topsy-turvy battle against ORACLE TEAM USA.

Having suffered a somewhat shock defeat to bottom of the table Groupama Team France in the first race of the day, the Swedish team enjoyed a flying start and maintained a healthy lead for the first three gates.

However, from leg five, the unpredictable nature of the conditions played a major role in the remainder of the race and the lead switched hands multiple times between the two teams.

But by the sixth and final gate, Artemis Racing enjoyed the advantage in the changing conditions finding themselves ahead before racing for the line and taking a welcome 39-second win.

“Today showed just how hard racing can be out there,” said Artemis Racing helmsman Nathan Outteridge. “We had too many mistakes against the French team in our first race and made life hard for ourselves.”

Two sailing catamarans go head to head in Bermuda

Shock win for Groupama Team France against Artemis Racing. Credit: © ACEA 2017/Gilles Martin-Raget

“However, I’m extremely proud of the way the whole team regrouped from that defeat and fixed everything in an almost perfect race against ORACLE TEAM USA,” he added.

The America’s Cup Qualifiers continue later today with Land Rover BAR facing Groupama Team France, Artemis Racing v Emirates Team New Zealand and SoftBank Team Japan against Groupama Team France.

Land Rover BAR, who are currently tied with Emirates Team New Zealand, will be hoping for win to keep them at the upper end of the standings.

Results after day 2 of the America's Cup qualifiers

Day two rankings

27 May

Land Rover BAR’s first day of racing at the America’s Cup Qualifiers was full of drama after a clash between the British team and SoftBank Team Japan left R1 with a “sizeable hole” in its port hull.

The crash happened during the final line-up towards the start line of the Round Robin match between the two teams.

According to Land Rover BAR, “SoftBank Team Japan’s skipper, Dean Barker moved into an overlapping position on the leeward side of Land Rover BAR, a move that resulted in a dramatic clash as the two boats came together, the hull of Land Rover BAR being punctured by the pedestal on the Japanese team.”

Men bail out a boat after a crash

Land Rover BAR bailing out to keep R1 afloat. Credit: Harry Kh/Land Rover BAR

The penalty went against Land Rover BAR, who continued racing nursing the damaged boat around the course, with SoftBank Team Japan taking the win.

The foiling conditions helped keep Land Rover BAR afloat, at the end of the race the team foiled into Bermuda’s Historic Dockyard to a waiting crane, with the whole team furiously bailing to keep R1 afloat.

“The boat is pretty badly damaged, with a sizeable hole in the port hull,” noted Land Rover BAR skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie.

Two America;s Cup race boat collide on the water

The moment of impact. Credit: Lloyd Images

“It was a great effort by the team to get the boat around the course in the state that it was in. We were better off foiling with the hull out of the water, and we tried to keep the boat on the foils right into the harbour.”

“We were lucky we did, by the time we got to the dock she was on her way down. It was all hands to the pumps and bailing. It’s been about 30 years since I was bailing out Optimist dinghies, and it wasn’t something I was expecting to do,” continued the 40-year-old.

“The collision was unfortunate, we had a sideways slip just as Dean came in and got the leeward overlap. No one wants that, certainly in our position as we picked up a penalty and the damage. Thankfully, the most important thing is that no one got hurt.”

A hole in the port hull of Land Rover BAR

The hole in the port hull. Credit: Lloyd Images

“It’s now down to the shore team to work their magic and fix the damage and try to get us back out for racing tomorrow. They are great guys, they’ve got us through some pretty rough patches in the past and hopefully they can do it again,” added Sir Ben.

Softbank Team Japan has already confirmed they will be back racing on day two.

“Obviously it was a bit of a ‘love tap’ as Ben calls it in the start of the second race”, said SoftBank Team Japan skipper, Dean Barker making reference to Land Rover BAR’s earlier collision with Emirates Team New Zealand.

“It was a little bit of a hairy moment seeing their leeward hull landing on our boat. Both boats have damage, it hit all the guys but doesn’t seem anyone is too badly injured. The nature of the racing is it’s getting closer and harder and it’s all part of the game. Ben wasn’t intending to hit us,” continued Barker.

“We saw an ugly big black hull coming towards the side of the boat. One of our grinder pedestal handles went through the side of their boat. There was a bit of damage to us but we can sort it for tomorrow,” he added.

However, it was not all bad for Land Rover BAR on day one of racing – the team has finally found their speed and earlier won their match against Artemis Racing.

The points after the first day of the America;s Cup

Day 1 rankings

This means that Land Rover BAR are currently joint leaders with Oracle Team USA on three points, with Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand and SoftBank Team Japan all on one point.

Two America's Cup racing boat battle on the waters of Bermuda

Land Rover BAR took the race from Artemis Racing. Credit: Harry Kh/Land Rover BAR

Commenting on the race against Artemis, Sir Ben said: “We had a fantastic race against Artemis Racing. Going into this competition, I think a lot of seasoned observers had written us off, saying that we didn’t have a chance.”

“We came out today when it counts and beat a really, really good team. So I can be proud of our team, and where we have come from and the potential we have to move forwards, this is hugely positive for the team,” he added.

Report by Katy Stickland and Stef Bottinelli