LAND ROVER BAR welcome Olympic champion Giles Scott back to their ranks as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup (ACWS) descends on Toulon this weekend.
Scott, who won Finn class gold last month in Rio, reports back to duty with the Portsmouth-based side who sit proudly at the top of the series rankings after five events.
He steps back into the strategist role that Ed Powys has held for the past three regattas.
Powys was instrumental in the team finishing second in Chicago and taking the win on the Solent just six weeks ago.
Scott last raced with the team in Oman, where the team started the year with a win.
He admitted it was good to be back in the fold.
‘It’s great to be back, the last event I did was Oman, which went well and then the guys have been doing a great job in my absence,’ said Scott.
‘Hopefully, we will be able to carry that on in Toulon.
‘I think that the best thing about combining the cup with my Olympic programme has been to stay very race-fresh and that can be hard to do locked into just the Cup scene.’
Land Rover BAR hold the overall lead after a second consecutive victory at their home event in Portsmouth – the first team to win three events in this America’s Cup cycle.
Toulon respresents the penultimate regatta of the year, with Fukuoka, Japan, the final host city (November 18-20).
Sir Ben Ainslie, skipper and team principal, praised Powy’s contribution to this point but admitted Scott’s availability was a huge boost.
‘We’re looking forward to Toulon, and it’s great to have Giles back in the team,’ said Ainslie.
‘Ed did a great job in his absence but on the back of Rio – and particularly Giles’ success in Rio – having him back on the boat gives the team a really good boost building up towards the cup next year, and into the closing stages of the World Series.
‘The focus now is to see if we can get some of those bonus points to end up on top at the end of the series, and keep developing as a team.’
Jono Macbeth, sailing team manager, added: ‘We’re approaching Toulon as if it were any other regatta – our build up has been exactly the same and we’re not looking to change anything at all.
‘The one exception is that Giles is back from his Olympic duties and is now back inside the team filling the shoes that Ed Powys has been keeping warm for him.
‘I think the results over the last few regattas show just how deep the sailing team is and how much experience and youth we have in there.’
All the action can be watched live on BT Sport EPSN, with today’s and Sunday’s racing coverage beginning at 1.30. Racing gets under way at 2.30pm.