Collision causes Land Rover BAR defeat in America’s Cup second race

Land Rover BAR v SoftBank Team Japan.  Photo credit: Gilles Martin-Rgaet/ America's Cup
Land Rover BAR v SoftBank Team Japan. Photo credit: Gilles Martin-Rgaet/ America's Cup
Alex Alley, from Gosport.

Picture: Sarah Standing (151832-9304) PPP-151030-175051001

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Land Rover BAR failed to recover from a penalty as they lost their second America’s Cup qualifying race against SoftBank Team Japan.

Sir Ben Ainslie’s crew were punished for a collision going into the start box before the contest.

As Dean Barker’s Japanese boat looked to go into the race tight, Land Rover BAR stood their ground the two boats’ hulls collided.

SoftBank Team Japan tactician Chris Draper believes it was a disappointing way to start the race.

He said: ‘There’s a couple of bruises (to our sailors) and a bit of compression damage to the hull.

‘It was quite a surprise as it could have been pretty ugly. It was a shame that was how the race started.

‘From our point of view, I was amazed by how late they reacted. When they did react, they got a bit of side skid.

‘It was pretty ugly but hey-ho, it’s one of those things. It was a good race after that and was good both teams kept racing and had a good battle.’

The British team were favourites going into the affair after their win over Sweden’s Team Artemis.

The Swede’s had thrashed Japan earlier in the day.

But the umpire deemed that Ainslie did not get out of the way quick enough in the collision at the start and it gave SoftBank Team Japan a two-length head start.

It also caused damage to the British boat’s carbon fibre and they never recovered.

Japan reached the first mark with an eight-second lead and stretched further clear as the race went on.

Damage to Land Rover BAR’s boat was clearly visible and Ainslie may well have not wanted to make it worse and nursed his crew through the race.

Around gate three, Japan were 13 seconds to the good quicker and by gate five, Barker’s men had a 33-second advantage.

SoftBank Team Japan soon crossed the finishing line 48 seconds ahead of Land Rover BAR.

It means there will be plenty of work done to Ainslie’s boat overnight ahead of tomorrow’s action.