Land Rover BAR winners at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth
Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR crew secured a comfortable victory this weekend (July 25th and 26th 2015) at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth. Six elite sailing teams battled on the Solent to accumulate points toward the ultimate goal - winning the America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.
Together skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James, runner David 'Freddie' Carr, trimmer Nick Hutton and bow/tactician Giles Scott scored one win and one second place on Day 1. Then due to extreme weather on Sunday – with winds of over 40 knots –further racing was cancelled, and Land Rover BAR were crowned winners.
This means that the Land Rover BAR team leave Portsmouth with 19 points from Saturday’s races, one point ahead of Emirates New Zealand, who were third in Saturday’s opening race before winning the second. Then come the Oracle Team USA (16), followed by the teams representing France (13), Japan (13) and Sweden (11).
‘Super Saturday’ had already proved a massive success. Organisers TeamOrigin Events were delighted that over three days of sailing and onshore entertainment, over 130,000 spectators had come to watch history in the making. And what an incredible outcome - 164 years after the very first America's Cup racing was held on the Solent, it was the British boat which took the win. Now Sir Ben and his team can focus on the next stage of America’s Cup racing in Gothenburg 27th to 30th August.
The America’s Cup deciding race will be held in Bermuda in 2017. If Ainslie’s team progress to this stage and succeed in defeating the current cup holders, Oracle Team USA, they will have the right to choose the venue for the next competition.
Portsmouth proves itself as a top level sailing venue
On Friday and Saturday the one-design AC45 catamarans achieved speeds of 40 to 50mph and Sir Ben Ainslie has gone on record singing the praises of Portsmouth as a racing venue. Leslie Greenhalgh, Event Director was also very happy with the outcome, saying:
"The event showcased what an increasable spectacle the America's Cup can deliver to Portsmouth. Whether it was giving the sailors a huge welcome on Thursday, braving the rain on Friday or enjoying the perfect champagne sailing conditions yesterday - the spectator support made a huge difference. Today's cancellation was unfortunate but the safety of spectators and the sailors is paramount and the wind speeds were simply un-safe. The plans for next year start tomorrow and we are already looking forward to 2016.”
A great deal of media attention focused on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who attended on Sunday to show their support for the British America's Cup Challenger and to present the official prizes. They also met young sailors from the 1851 Trust, the official charity of Land Rover BAR and the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth event, which seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry.
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth - Results
1. Land Rover BAR - 19 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand - 18 points
3. ORACLE TEAM USA - 16 points
4. Groupama Team France - 13 points
5. SoftBank Team Japan - 13 points
6. Artemis Racing - 11 points
Article: Alison Clements
Photos: Gilles Martin-Raget, Gary Williams
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