Final preparations are being made by Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team as the America's Cup World Series resumes in New York this weekend.
The 2016 America’s Cup World Series resumes in New York on 7 and 8 May.
Currently, Land Rover BAR is in third place after winning the first event in Oman in February. It is the only team to have won two series events in this cup cycle. The team are just one point behind Oracle Team USA and seven points behind Emirates Team New Zealand.
Speaking ahead of the race, skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie said: “We got the win in Oman, but this is a very different place, a very different venue and expected conditions, so it’s a different challenge for all of the teams.”
“We’ve had to think about the right approach to this event as a team. We’ve been preparing hard for that and we’re excited to be racing in as iconic a location as New York,” he stated.
This is the skipper’s first race in America since victory in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. However, this time he will be challenging Oracle Team USA Jimmy Spithill for the trophy rather than helping him to defend it.
The Land Rover BAR crew will continue the process of rotation that proved to be so successful in Oman.
Giles Scott is now focusing on his Finn campaign for the 2016 Olympics in Rio this summer. Coming onto the boat will be the former 49er sailor Ed Powys, making his America’s Cup World Series debut.
Sailing team manager, Jono Macbeth said: “In Oman we did some crew rotations and had a very successful regatta, and I think that really showed how strong our sailing team is in depth. Looking forward to New York, we’ve lost Giles Scott due to his Olympic campaign, and this will be the first regatta that he has missed. It will give us another chance to do some rotations, and show the depth of the sailing team across a lot of different areas.”
Macbeth said Powys has been doing “an absolutely fantastic job in training”.
He noted that the team wasn’t under any illusions about how difficult the race track in New York was going to be.
“And looking ahead to the forecast, we are going to get a breeze out of just about every quarter at different strengths and tendencies. We are hoping to carry on with the momentum we had out of Oman, but at the same time it is going to be a very testing race course for the sailors and a tricky weekend,” he concluded.
David ‘Freddie’ Carr, runner, said the tidal nature of the Hudson River will certainly play a key part in their race strategy.
“We sail in tidal current at home, but we will need to key into the eddies along the shore, particularly on the Manhattan side. And of course there are all these 500m skyscrapers in the way of the wind as well; on these urban race courses the breeze can touch down at any point. So we have to keep our heads out of the boat, there won’t be a single lap or manoeuvre that’s the same, it will change every time. The weather looks alright though; six to 10 knots on Saturday, and Sunday looks great with 10-16 knots, so we’ll race both days for sure,” he noted.
New York has a long history and association with the cup, it was home to America’s Cup racing until 1920, the year that Britain came closest to winning. Sir Thomas Lipton led 2-0 before eventually being beaten 3-2.
Click here for information on how to follow all of the racing action in New York.
After New York, the crews head to Chicago, where they will race on Lake Michigan in June.
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