America’s Cup: Macbeth upbeat despite tough Gothenburg weekend

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Jono Macbeth put on a brave face after a tough weekend of America’s Cup World Series racing in Gothenburg.

The Land Rover BAR sailing team manager reckons his outfit performed well in tricky conditions in Sweden.

They notched two second places on Saturday before returning a third and fifth on day two of the regatta.

However, the Old Portsmouth-based team have been knocked off the top of the overall standings by Team Emirates New Zealand.

They are now seven points adrift of the Kiwis ahead of the final event of the season in Bermuda next month.

Macbeth was in no mood to panic after handing the advantage to the 2013 runners-up.

‘This event in Gothenburg is the first time the team has competed away from home and it’s been a fantastic regatta,’ said the Land Rover BAR chief.

‘We haven’t had the result we wanted but we were right in the hunt until the very end.

‘Going into the last race there were three teams all tied on the same points.

‘The boys sailed really well in incredibly tricky conditions and, all in all, I think it’s been a good result for the team.’

On Saturday, Land Rover BAR twice crossed the line behind Oracle Team USA – with the Kiwis completing the podium places on each occasion.

An incredibly tight race course, with rocks everywhere, meant the five-lap races were completed in less than 30 minutes.

Ideal conditions saw plenty of place changes but in both battles the British team looked rock solid in their speed and boat handling.

BAR tactician Giles Scott said: ‘Saturday was particularly physical because we were on the Code Zero cross-over, so the decision whether to hoist and deploy that was crucial.

‘As soon as we make that call to do it, it saps a lot of energy out of the front three.

‘In the last race of the day, to be able to get that call right was pretty vital for us in grabbing that second place – but for sure it was hard work.’

The second and final day produced some of the toughest conditions in the series so far, with a light and shifty wind.

There was concern there wouldn’t be enough breeze but two races were completed and Land Rover BAR worked hard to come back from a couple of difficult starts.

The team recovered to finish third in the first race but had to settle for a frustrating fifth in the final outing, leaving them third overall for the weekend.

Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said: ‘It was a tough day.

‘The wind was a lot lighter than it has been for the previous racing and it was a new dynamic for all of the teams.

‘We struggled a little bit, we didn’t have great starts and we struggled to get through the pack in both races.

‘We fought our way through and finished up on the podium overall, which we are happy with.

‘Of course, we would have liked to have been on top of the podium.

‘But this is another step along the America’s Cup journey for us and it’s good to be competing at the top of this circuit.

‘For a new team we’re performing well.

‘We’ve certainly got plenty of gains we can make and we need to keep working on that for the next event in Bermuda coming up in October.’