Land Rover BAR got their America’s Cup assault in Bermuda off to a perfect start.
Sir Ben Ainslie’s team dispatched Sweden’s Artemis Racing by 11 seconds in their first qualifying race.
There were plenty of question marks surrounding the British team heading into the competition as some predicted they’d bee too slow in the Caribbean.
But tactician Giles Scott insisted the performance was not a surprise and he credited his team.
After the race, he said: ‘It has been well documented we have been struggling in practice racing.
‘To be able to come out and put in a race after such a strong team is great for us.
‘It’s been a lot of frustration that has come out of our boys and it’s great to be able to dig in and come out with the victory.
‘We’ve raced against Artemis quite a lot but beaten them just once about three months ago!
‘I’m sure it’s a surprise for a lot of people but it’s no surprise to anyone part of our team.
‘Everyone part of Land Rover BAR has been busting a gut over the past few years and especially after the past few months.’
Land Rover BAR registered a dominant performance and got better as the race went on.
Ainslie’s crew passed the first marker in front and extended their lead.
At gate three, Land Rover BAR went round it with a 16-second advantage and it was increased to 23 seconds at gate four.
The British boat was elegant in the water with its hull rarely making a splash.
Team Artemis did cut the lead round gate five to 16 seconds but it was too little, too late.
Around the final gate, Ainslie set up for conservative manoeuvres instead of making things complicated to preserve energy for his men.
Land Rover BAR passed the finishing line 11 seconds ahead of their Swedish rivals to pick up the point.