GOTHENBURG has produced some fantastic conditions for the opening practice session of the second Louis Vuitton Ben Ainslie Racing America’s Cup World Series event of 2015.
After a tentative start to feel out the performance of the boat in what were top-of-the range conditions, the Land Rover BAR crew crossed the finish line first in the final practice race in Sweden.
Skipper and team principal Ben Ainslie: ‘It was pretty windy out there, awesome sailing, but early on we weren’t quite sure of the conditions, to be honest.
‘We haven’t sailed in this much breeze on these boats before.
‘So it took us a little while to get into the rhythm of things and understand where the limit was.
‘Once we did that in the first race, we were much more comfortable in the second and really pushed it a bit harder.
‘It was great, awesome racing, I think we got our top speed at 37, 38 knots which in a 45 foot boat is pretty impressive.
‘The guys did a great job, so from a tentative start it ended up being a really good day.’
Wing Trimmer, Paul ‘CJ’ Campbell-James, said: ‘Our forecast said 16-18 knots of wind and it was probably more like 18-23, so there was a little bit more breeze than we were expecting which made it pretty exciting for a practice day.
‘This fleet is such a high standard and everyone has their day. We wouldn’t be surprised by any of these teams winning a race.
‘There were four boats out there today and all four were fighting for the lead, there was a lot of overtaking and lots of different people leading. So it’s anyone’s race tomorrow and we’re pushing hard to make sure we’re on top.’
Runner David ‘Freddie’ Carr said: ‘The first thing to note is that the course is much smaller than Portsmouth, mainly restricted by the island.
‘So in certain wind directions it can only be half a mile lap, whereas in Portsmouth it was 1.2 miles. We’re going to be doing a lot more laps; that’s the big stand out difference.
‘In terms of our preparation, the big difference is that we’re in our tent as opposed to our amazing base at home, and in a funny way it’s easier to focus on the regatta. There was a lot of attention around Portsmouth, and it added pressure to perform, especially with the amount of people watching and the Royal visit.
‘It really felt like a home event. And here, although it is a World Series event, we’re just another team. It takes the pressure off a bit… that’s how it’s different for me.’
The Land Rover BAR Gothenburg line up:
Ben Ainslie - Skipper and Team Principal
Paul Campbell-James - Wing trimmer
David ‘Freddie’ Carr - Runner
Nick Hutton - Trimmer
Giles Scott - Bow/tactician
Andy Mclean - Race crew reserve
Jo Lees - Boat Captain
Richy O’Farrell - Shore support
James Chapman – Rib driver and Shore support
Ian Boag - Shore support