LAND ROVER BAR Academy skipper Rob Bunce hailed his side’s showing in the second Act of the Extreme Sailing Series and admitted: That’s exactly what we needed.
The Portsmouth-based young guns produced their best-ever finish in the prestigious competition by finishing second in Qingdao, China.
Swiss sailing team Alinghi claimed Mazarin Cup victory for a second year running in Fushan Bay, with BAR claiming the runners-up spot despite having to sit out the last two races because of boat damage.
A bump with the NZ Extreme Sailing Team caused their early retirement from the Act.
But with Sir Ben Ainslie’s side now sitting fourth place in the overall standings, their performance gave the outfit a timely boost as they turn their attention to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda next month.
‘We’re so happy,’ said Bunce.
‘I think it all comes down to our great day on day three and a few good results on the last day before our little collision with NZ Extreme Sailing Team.
‘It’s a shame we couldn’t compete in the last two races, it’s not the way we wanted to finish the Act, but we’re really happy with the result.
‘It’s just the confidence boost we needed before the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.’
Bunce said there was little damage after the collision with their New Zealand counterparts.
‘We basically had a port/starboard with NZ Extreme Sailing Team. Chris (Steele) wanted one side of the gate and we wanted the other side,’ he said.
‘He bore away as hard as he could but it wasn’t enough.
‘We took a bit of a bash and took on a bit of water but we got lifted out by the crane straight away and it’s all good.
‘Everyone involved was fine, there will be some damage to repair on the boat before the next Act.’
Mainsail trimmer, Will Alloway, said the coming together failed to impact on the feel-good factor in the BAR team.
‘Obviously, things happen in racing all the time but this was a bit of a shock, because it was our first collision,’ he said.
‘In the end, however, it worked out quite well for us, getting an average of points for the races that we missed, especially as our results were improving throughout the day.
‘We’re very happy with how the whole event went, apart form the collision.’
The Extreme Sailing Series resumes on the Portuguese island of Madeira from June 29 to July 2.