Ainslie upbeat after roll of the dice in New York

Land Rover BAR sail past the Statue of Liberty Picture: Harry KH/Land Rover BAR
Land Rover BAR sail past the Statue of Liberty Picture: Harry KH/Land Rover BAR
Sir Ben Ainslie

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Sir Ben Ainslie praised the efforts of his Land Rover BAR team despite their fifth-place finish in New York round of the America’s Cup World Series.

The Portsmouth-based side struggled in the conditions in New York on Sunday, with racing restricted to only one day because of light winds on Saturday.

A second-place finish in race one was followed by two fifth spots – ensuring BAR claimed fifth overall in the standings.

Victory in the regatta was enjoyed by Emirates Team New Zealand, who somehow recovered from a penalty in race three and being hooked on a starting mark to claim the most dramatic of wins on the final leg.

That keeps them top of the standings in the race for Bermuda 2017, with Ainslie & Co maintaining third spot behind reigning champions Oracle Team USA.

BAR weren’t the only ones to struggle with conditions on the Hudson.

After claiming victory in race one, Artemis Racing finished last in the two remaining outings.

But Ainslie admitted what New York had to offer was part and parcel of the challenge of America’s Cup glory.

‘It is hard to describe racing in those conditions,’ he said.

‘It was fantastic to see so many people out supporting the event. It is such a great city.

‘The last two races, the guy in last place at the penultimate mark, won the race on the penultimate leg.

‘So as competitors that’s tough to deal with, but that’s the game.

‘We knew it would be like that going into this event, and you roll the dice and see which side of it you come out.

‘Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for us, so the guys are frustrated.

‘I think we sailed the boat really well, and did everything just about as good as we could, but it just didn’t fall our way.’

The next round of racing is in Chicago on the weekend of June 11-12.

The America’s Cup returns to Portsmouth on July 15-16 – the scene of BAR’s first victory of the series.