Ainslie's crew bounce back with solid victory

SIR BEN AINSLIE hailed Land Rover BAR's response after their win against Sweden's Artemis Racing in the '¨America's Cup Qualifiers.

Tuesday, 30th May 2017, 10:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:35 pm
Land Rover BAR in action against Artemis Racing. Picture: Ricardo Pinto/ America's Cup

The British crew bounced back to form after losing four straight races.

There was plenty of pressure on Ainslie’s team heading into their second meeting with Artemis Racing on day one in round robin two.

Britain had beaten Sweden on the opening day of racing in Bermuda on Saturday and the result was not reversed in their second clash.

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Land Rover BAR registered a 33-second success and remain third in the table but now have a two-point cushion over Artemis Racing.

Ainslie was delighted with the performance and lauded his crew’s response after the poor run of form.

The four-time Olympic gold medal winner said: ‘We needed that one and the guys did a great job.

‘We put a lot of preparation into it after the disappointment.

‘There was a lot of debriefing and we made some changes to the boat.

‘Our speed was a lot better and we sailed a great race.

‘It’s a big win for us and we’ve got to keep developing and go forward.’

Ainslie produced a tactical 
masterclass to gain an early advantage over Sweden.

Land Rover BAR shrewdly snook in front of Artemis Racing at the 
pre-racing start line.

From there, the British boat rapidly accelerated from 10 knots to 43 – the first team to break the 40 knots barrier in Bermuda – and took a 10-second lead around the first mark.

Ainslie’s men were comfortable for the most part and extended their advantage.

They went around gate two with a 13-second cushion before almost doubling their lead around mark four and opened it up to 24 seconds.

Sweden did their best to close the gap but Land Rover were too good and cruised to a 33-second win.

Ainslie revealed he could sense the Swedish boat were in a spot of bother at the start of the race.

He added: ‘I had a feeling pretty early coming into the line they were in trouble.

‘They had sort of parked themselves on the pin end and we had to come from behind with more speed and got over the top.

‘It was a nice start and from there the guys sailed the boat brilliantly.’
In Tuesday’s other action, Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing for the second time in as many days.

There wasn’t much between the two boats approaching to gate five, but the Kiwis soon opened up an advantage and grabbed the point.

Holders ORACLE Team USA shut down Groupama Team France’s good progress they made on Monday.

Victory for Jimmy Spithall’s crew never looked in doubt and a penalty to France ensured USA the win.