America’s Cup: Sir Ben Ainslie rues ‘terrible’ luck in Bermuda

Action from Super Sunday in Bermuda. Picture: BAR/Lloyd Images
Action from Super Sunday in Bermuda. Picture: BAR/Lloyd Images
Alex Alley, from Gosport.

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Sir Ben Ainslie rued a ‘terrible’ second race in Bermuda as Land Rover BAR slipped to third overall in the America’s Cup World Series.

The final event of the season saw the Portsmouth-based team finish third in the opening contest of Super Sunday.

However, a technical problem left them sixth in the second race before they snatched runner-up spot in the finale.

With double points available for the hat-trick of battles, the results saw Land Rover BAR overtaken in the standings by reigning champions Oracle Team USA.

Jimmy Spithill’s squad are three points ahead of the Brits, while Emirates Team New Zealand are 10 points clear at the top.

There is a break now until racing returns in February 2016 at a venue which is yet to be confirmed.

Land Rover BAR skipper and team principal Ainslie said: ‘It was a tough one for the team.

‘We had a good first race and a terrible second race.

‘An issue with the control system for the starboard daggerboard put us in a tough spot.

‘But the boys came back well with a second in the final race.

‘Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to get us back on the podium for the weekend.

‘But it has been great to race in the America’s Cup venue.

‘On Sunday there was a fantastic breeze – short racing but pretty intense and hopefully it was a great spectacle.’

Land Rover BAR tactician Giles Scott was pleased with the way the team rallied and reckons Bermuda will be a great setting for the America’s Cup final in 2017.

He said: ‘Generally, we were pretty pleased with the way that we were racing.

‘We started off with a third place and that gave us a good base to build on.

‘In the second race we got into a really good position on the second beat, didn’t quite get across in front of Artemis and got passed.

‘Then we had a malfunction with the dagger board and that was certainly the low of the racing here - it dragged us back into last place.

‘But we rallied and gave it everything in the third race.

‘We came away with a second in that which we have to be pretty pleased with because again we had board issues – so we dealt with the lows pretty well.

‘The course is really good, slightly different to 2017, but it’s going to be a great racing venue.

‘The perfect amphitheatre for foiling cats, flat water and decent wind most of the time, so I’m excited about coming back here and getting to grips with it all.’

Wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James echoed those thoughts.

And he insisted Land Rover BAR will come back stronger next year.

He said: ‘We came in quite frustrated but it was such fun racing on Sunday.

‘We sailed well, we just made one or two too many errors and we’ll iron those out over the winter and come back fighting next year.’