Land Rover BAR Academy of Great Britain,

America’s Cup 20.06.2017

20.06.2017

Day one of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals

belonged to Land Rover BAR Academy who sit on top of the leaderboard heading into day two after two second places and a first place in the three races on day one.

Land Rover BAR Academy Skipper Rob Bunce summed up the team’s performance, saying, “It is the perfect start we were looking for and we’re all delighted with our level of consistency. In all honesty, our main focus isn’t to necessarily to win each of the races, it is more about keeping that consistency and finishing in the top three as much as we can because consistency is key.

„Getting off that start line cleanly has been the crucial thing for us and if we can do that then we’re all confident we are quick enough to challenge for those top places on a regular basis.

„It is amazing to know there are only three races remaining but we will go into tomorrow as if today didn’t happen. We will take all the positives from today but there are still things to learn and improve on.

„All of the team from Land Rover BAR, including Ben (Ainslie) have been incredibly helpful and supportive to us on and off the water. It’s been amazing to have that support and hopefully we can do this for them as well.”

For the home of the 35th America’s Cup, the day started in fairytale fashion for local heroes TeamBDA whose incredible story in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup continued in fine style when they won the first race of the Finals against their seven competitors.

Having given the packed Grandstand and all the TeamBDA fans in the America’s Cup Village a huge reason to cheer in race one, races two and three proved tougher for the young team and they end day one in sixth place overall.

Speaking about the team’s day, Skipper Mackenzie Cooper said, “It is hard to describe exactly how it felt crossing the finish line in that first race. We knew once we were round the last mark that we were going to win the race and you stop for a second and look up at all the people in the grandstand cheering. It was just an incredible feeling which fills you with so much pride, it’s something I’ll never forget.

„All of just looked at each other in disbelief, like we’ve just won a race in the final in front of our home fans! It was incredible. However, we had to stop ourselves from celebrating as we knew it was only the first race and each race comes around so quickly, so you have to focus again quickly.

“However, that first race was for our incredible fans and hopefully we give them more to cheer for tomorrow. We showed in each of the races that we are capable of competing against anyone out there and, even when we’re behind, we can claw some places back, which is encouraging.

„Anything can happen, we’ve already seen that and so we won’t stop believing we can win this. We will fix the mistakes we’ve made and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Roman Hagara, Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Director said, “The last couple of years of preparation comes down to these two days of Finals for the eight teams taking part, and I’ve been very impressed by how everyone has competed today. It was hot out there on the Great Sound, and the winds were pretty light, but everyone got on with their jobs and the racing was fascinating.”

Hans Peter Steinacher, Hagara’s fellow Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Director, added, “Obviously the whole of Bermuda went wild when TeamBDA won the first race, and we’re all so pleased they’re performing at such a high level. However, Land Rover BAR Academy really deserve our praise today. They sailed consistently and they made the most of the conditions. Behind them, there’s very little to choose between all the teams. Tomorrow we have the final three races and I think it’s safe to say that, whatever happens, it’s going to be edge of the seat stuff!”

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals

Race One

It proved a fairytale start to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals for local heroes TeamBDA as they clinched a comfortable 34 second victory in the first race of the eight-team showpiece finals.

Managing to avoid the congestion at the start line, the Bermudian team put themselves in clear air throughout the race, gradually building a healthy lead and ultimately clinching victory as the packed Grandstand in the America’s Cup Village erupted in delight. Rob Bunce’s Land Rover BAR Academy and Jordi Xammar’s Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR finished second and third respectively to the hometown heroes.

Behind the top three, in what proved a much tighter battle, Robin Follin’s Team France Jeune clinched fourth ahead of Team Tilt (SUI) in fifth, Artemis Youth Racing sixth, reigning Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champions NZL Sailing Team seventh and, rounding off the running order in eighth, was SVB Team Germany.

Race One Results

1. TeamBDA (10pts)
2. Land Rover BAR Academy (9pts)
3. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (8pts)
4. Team France Jeune (7pts)
5. Team Tilt (SUI) (6pts)
6. Artemis Youth Racing (5pts)
7. NZL Sailing Team (4pts)
8. SVB Team Germany (3pts)

Race Two

Race Two was won by Team France Jeune who held off the challenge of the consistent Land Rover BAR Academy to claim the race-winning 10 points.

Behind them, a hard-fought battle ensued between the remaining six teams with Team Tilt and Artemis Youth Racing sealing third and fourth respectively, followed by Max Kohlhoff’s SVB Team Germany in fifth.

Defending champions NZL Sailing Team’s struggles continued as they had to settle for a sixth place finish, narrowly ahead of Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Cooper’s TeamBDA were punished with a penalty on leg three of five, which saw them drop from third place to ultimately finish Race Two in eighth.

Race Two Results

1. Team France Jeune (10pts)
2. Land Rover BAR Academy (9pts)
3. Team Tilt (SUI) (8pts)
4. Artemis Youth Racing (7pts)
5. SVB Team Germany (6pts)
6. NZL Sailing Team (5pts)
7. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (4pts)
8. TeamBDA (3pts)

Race Three

Land Rover BAR Academy capped off an impressive first day in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, taking victory in race three and topping the standings at the end of day one.

Having sealed consecutive second-place finishes in the first two races, Rob Bunce’s British team built on that momentum to enjoy a win in the day’s last race, narrowly ahead of NZL Sailing Team and Artemis Youth Racing.

Behind those three teams, a congested pack ultimately saw Switzerland’s Team Tilt claim fourth place ahead of SVB Team Germany, local heroes TeamBDA in fifth and Team France Jeune and Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR completing the running order in seventh and eighth places respectively.

At the end of day one of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Final, Land Rover BAR Academy (28pts) lead the way at the top of the standings ahead of Switzerland’s Team Tilt (21pts), Team France Jeune (21pts), Artemis Youth Racing (20pts), NZL Sailing Team (18pts), TeamBDA (18pts), SVB Team Germany (15pts) and Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (15pts)

Race Three Results

1. Land Rover BAR Academy (10pts)
2. NZL Sailing Team (9pts)
3. Artemis Youth Racing (8pts)
4. Team Tilt (SUI) (7pts)
5. SVB Team Germany (6pts)
6. TeamBDA (5pts)
7. Team France Jeune (4pts)
8. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (3pts)

Day One Standings

1. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) (28pts)
2. Team Tilt (SUI) (21pts)
3. Team France Jeune (21pts)
4. Artemis Youth Racing (SWE) (20pts)
5. NZL Sailing Team (18pts)
6. TeamBDA (BER) (18pts)
7. SVB Team Germany (15pts)
8. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (15pts)

Find out whether the Cinderella story will have a fairytale ending. Watch the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, live on Red Bull TV on June 20 and 21 at 2:00pm local Bermuda time/5:00pm UTC.

Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit this page.

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup media hub here: www.redbullsailingnewsroom.com

Americas Cup first weekend

Americas Cup 18.06.2017

18.06.2017

Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand push ahead

Battle resumed on Father’s Day in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton with Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA looking to seize back the advantage gained by Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand on day one. However, it was day two to the Kiwis again, with Emirates Team New Zealand recording two more back-to-back victories over the Defenders of the America’s Cup, putting themselves 3-0 up in the first-to-seven series that will determine the winner of the 35th America’s Cup.

After racing had finished on day two, Jimmy Spithill looked ahead to the five day break before racing restarts on 24th June and what ORACLE TEAM USA can do to put themselves back in the fight. “These are going to be the most important five days of this America’s Cup campaign for us.

“I thought we took a good step forward from yesterday, but it is clear we have to find some speed from somewhere, that is no secret.

“If we were forced to race day after day we’d be in some serious trouble at the moment. This break coming up is a massive opportunity for us as a team to go away and regroup.

“Everything will be put out on the table, nothing will be off limits, and over the next five days our incredible shore team will be looking at every aspect of our boat.

“Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee that. Whether it’s system related, appendage related, sailing technique or strategy, we are going to look at absolutely everything.

“The motivation is always there, the team is hungry and we’re a very competitive group, but we are also a candid group and it is quite clear we need to make some changes.

“We feel that with the resources we have here we can make the changes to improve the boat and give us more speed. It looks like we have some good sailing days coming up over these next five days so we’ll be into 24 hour shifts.

“We’ve been in a situation like this before and we’ve had less time. We’ve got five important days and we’ll be using every single hour

of them.

“We have to respond.”

In reply, despite knowing that repeating the opening weekend’s performance when racing resumes on 24th June would confirm Emirates Team New Zealand as the 35th America’s Cup champions, Burling again warned his team against complacency.

“We are walking away with two victories again but, much the same as yesterday, we made too many mistakes,” said the Kiwi helmsman.

“We now have five days to keep pushing on and progressing because everyone in this team is hungry to keep on improving and learning.

“We know full well if we stand still, Jimmy (Spithill) and ORACLE TEAM USA will catch us so we have plenty of work on in the next five days.

“We’re happy to take those four wins because it is no secret that we are here to win the America’s Cup. We knew to do that we had to win eight races and so we have to keep on battling to ensure that is what we do.”

Race Three
Race three saw Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand pick up where they left off on day one, sealing a third consecutive victory over Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA to extend their advantage in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton to two points at the halfway stage of day two.

Race Three of the 35th @AmericasCup concludes with @EmiratesTeamNZ in the lead for the win pic.twitter.com/Hr4Oh3gry4
— ORACLE TEAM USA (@OracleTeamUSA) June 18, 2017

At the start of the race, both teams were extremely close as they crossed the startline, and ORACLE TEAM USA had a small advantage as they approached the first mark. However, in similar scenes to day one’s two races, a small mistake was to prove pivotal as a poor jibe by ORACLE TEAM USA saw the American boat make a small splashdown into the water, resulting in a loss of momentum that they were then unable to claw back.

That mistake handed the initiative to Burling and he seized the opportunity, sailing clear of his rival to hold an 11 second lead at gate two.

Trailing the Kiwi boat, Spithill went for the split at the gate as he chased hard in pursuit of Burling, winner of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013. However, Emirates Team New Zealand continued to showcase their impressive speed and steadily increased their advantage through the next two gates, holding a 49 second lead by leg 5/7.

Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA continued their pursuit, in the hope of a mistake from their Kiwi rivals in the closing stages. However, it was not to materialise. Burling kept his composure, rounding the fifth gate with his 49 second advantage intact, and from that point there was no looking back Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line nearly a minute ahead of the US team and Burling claimed his third victory on the trot in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The 35th America’s Cup: Race Weekend One

Race Four
Race two started in almost identical fashion to the first race, with both teams racing extremely closely to one another as they crossed the start line, quickly accelerating to around 40 knots as they headed towards the first mark.

Both teams essentially had faultless races, but the superior boat speed of Emirates Team New Zealand proved the deciding factor, the Kiwis pulling away throughout the race to build a lead of 500 metres heading towards the fifth gate.

Emirates Team New Zealand rounded Gate 5 with their advantage standing at a minute, with Jimmy Spithill only able to watch on in the hope of a mistake from his rival Peter Burling, but it was not to be.

At the end of race four it was Emirates Team New Zealand who were celebrating again, finishing the day with two more points on the leaderboard and clear air between them and ORACLE TEAM USA.

 

* Emirates Team New Zealand started the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton -1 due to ORACLE TEAM USA’s win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

 

LVC 14.06.2017

TeamBDA light up Bermuda – 14.06.2017

14.06.2017

TEAMBDA LIGHT UP BERMUDA AS THEY PROGRESS INTO 2017 RED BULL YOUTH AMERICA’S CUP FINALS

Light winds again greeted the six international Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Pool B teams who returned to day two of Qualifiers fleet racing action on 13th June on Bermuda’s Great Sound. However, the wind speed did not stop the day producing huge tension, real drama and a fantastic story for Bermuda, home of the 35th America’s Cup with TeamBDA, the local favourites, booking their place in the Finals of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup by securing the points they needed to progress in the second race of the day.

TeamBDA’s progression also means that, at the end of day two, the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup says goodbye to the Austrian Candidate Sailing Team and Carson Crain’s Next Generation USA.

In contrast, the TeamBDA story is remarkable, especially in the context of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup which is the platform for the next generation of sailing superstars to test their mettle on the same waters as the America’s Cup teams. Just over one and a half years before the start of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, many of the Bermudian team had not sailed before, so to book their place in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, on their own home waters, is a truly special story.

On the water, in action on day two of the Qualifiers with TeamBDA was Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR), Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (ESP), Candidate Sailing Team (AUT), Next Generation USA and NZL Sailing Team. The teams, all aged between 18 – 24 years, were racing on the final day of the Pool B 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Qualifiers, the precursor to the Finals which take place on the Great Sound on 20th / 21st June.

Having endured a mixed first day’s racing, reigning champions NZL Sailing Team made the perfect start on day two, taking victory in the first race, narrowly ahead of local heroes TeamBDA. Behind them Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR finished third, ahead of Austria’s Candidate Sailing Team, with Land Rover BAR Academy in fifth and Next Generation USA in sixth.

Race two was about to start, but then a windshift on the racecourse lead to America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) abandoning the race shortly before it started so they could change the course to fit the new wind direction.

Soon, the second race of the day was back on and in what proved the closest-fought race yet involving all six teams, Jordi Xammar’s Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR crossed the finish line first, narrowly ahead of Land Rover BAR Academy and the much-improved Candidate Sailing Team. Behind the top three, Logan Dunning Beck’s NZL Sailing settled for fourth, with Next Generation USA fifth and TeamBDA in sixth.

In the final race of the Pool B Qualifiers it was NZL Sailing team who took the honours in first, followed by Land Rover BAR Academy in second. Behind them, Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR stole third place on the line from Team BDA, making the whole of Bermuda smile with fourth place, sealing their spot in the Finals. Next Generation USA had to settle for fifth while bringing up the rear were Candidate Sailing Team whose 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup adventure ended with sixth place.

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sports Directors Hans-Peter Steinacher and Roman Hagara gave their thoughts on the Pool B Qualifiers action, starting with Steinacher who said, “There were tricky conditions on both days for Pool B but the four teams who made it into the final have played the tactical game well and deserve to be in the Finals. There was a lot to play for until the last race and that shows just how high the performance levels are of the youth sailors taking part in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.”

Picking up with his thoughts was Roman Hagara who added, “Even though we didn’t have the wind levels we’d prefer, we’re still extremely pleased with how the first two days of racing have gone. It’s crazy how many spectator boats have been out on the water today to support the teams, and especially TeamBDA. Now everyone on this beautiful island will be in the America’s Cup Village for the finals on 20th and 21st June!”

2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup – Pool B Qualifiers Race Results

Pool B, Race 4
1. NZL Sailing Team (10pts)
2. TeamBDA (9pts)
3. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (8pts)
4. Candidate Sailing Team (7pts)
5. Land Rover BAR Academy (6pts)
6. Next Generation USA (5pts)

Pool B, Race 5
1. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (10pts)
2. Land Rover BAR Academy (9pts)
3. Candidate Sailing Team (8pts)
4. NZL Sailing Team (7pts)
5. Next Generation USA (6pts)
6. TeamBDA (5pts)

Pool B, Race 6
1. NZL Sailing Team (10pts)
2. Land Rover BAR Academy (9pts)
3. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (8pts)
4. TeamBDA (7pts)
5. Next Generation USA (6pts)
6. Candidate Sailing Team (5pts)

2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Pool B Qualifiers – Final Standings
1. NZL Sailing Team 51pts
2. Land Rover BAR Academy 51pts
3. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR 51pts
4. TeamBDA 45pts
5. Next Generation USA 36pts
6. Candidate Sailing Team 36pts

Watch the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, live on Red Bull TV on June 20 and 21 at 2:00pm local Bermuda time/5:00pm UTC.

Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit this page.

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup media hub here: www.redbullsailingnewsroom.com

 

 

Red Bull 13.06.

Land Rover BAR Academy Lead Pool B 13.06.2017

13.06.2017
Land Rover BAR Academy Lead Pool B
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup began its 2017 campaign on 12th June on Bermuda’s Great Sound, the same waters that had just seen the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, and at the end of day one it is the British team Land Rover BAR Academy who will be happiest with their day’s work, finishing on top of the leaderboard. However, the big story is the local favourites, TeamBDA, who finish day one in third place overall after a highly impressive first day of Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Qualifiers action.

The first day of racing in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup saw the six Pool B teams kicking off their qualifying campaigns with three races, each team looking to book their place in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals.

The Pool B teams competing on day one included TeamBDA, the hometown favourites, taking on Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR), Next Generation USA, Spanish Impulse by Iberostar, Candidate Sailing Team (AUT) and NZL Sailing Team.

It proved an impressive start to the competition for Land Rover BAR Academy, who won the opening race in emphatic style.

Narrowly edging out Austria’s Candidate Sailing Team away from the start line, the British team, skippered by Rob Bunce, led from start to finish, sailing clear of all of their rivals from the first upwind mark and maintaining a healthy lead throughout the race to claim an impressive maiden victory.

The more interesting battle proved to be between the teams behind the Brits, with a particularly interesting battle developing between Spanish Impulse by Iberostar, Next Generation USA and local heroes TeamBDA, for second and third place.

Eventually it was Jordi Xammer’s Spanish team, followed by Carson Crain’s Next Generation USA, who took second and third respectively, with Dimitri Stevens’ Team BDA clinching a promising fourth place in their first race.

Meanwhile, NZL Sailing Team had to settle for fifth place, while Austria’s Candidate Sailing Team were sixth.

Perhaps inspired by watching fellow countryman Peter Burling lift the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs trophy moments before the start of race two, NZL Sailing Team put their disappointing performance in race one firmly behind them and took a comfortable victory in the second race of the day and with it, 10 points.

In stark contrast to race one, skipper Logan Dunning Beck timed NZL Sailing Team’s approach to the start line to perfection in race two and they quickly established themselves in the lead. Behind them, Spanish Impulse by Iberostar continued to sail consistently, while Dimitri Stevens’ TeamBDA and Rob Bunce’s Land Rover BAR Academy enjoyed a close-fought battle throughout, vying for third and fourth place.

A victory that rarely looked in doubt was ultimately sealed by NZL Sailing Team who were followed over the line by Spanish Impulse by Iberostar, claiming a consecutive second-place finish and another nine points.

TeamBDA continued their impressive form, managing to hold off intense pressure from Land Rover BAR Academy in the battle for third place, while at the back of the field, a late duel for fifth and sixth place materialised between Next Generation USA and Candidate Sailing Team.

Heading into the final gate neck-and-neck, Carson Crain’s US team ultimately won the battle against the Austrians, sealing five more valuable points.

The final race of the first day of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup was dominated initially by a fight at the head of the pack between Land Rover BAR Academy and TeamBDA. The Bermudians were then joined by NZL Sailing Team as the British team moved off into the distance but TeamBDA did not lose their focus, sailing brilliantly against the experienced British and New Zealand teams and finally finishing second.

At the end of day one it is the British team Land Rover BAR Academy in first place in the first set of qualifiers, followed by Spanish Impulse by Iberostar, then TeamBDA, much to the delight of the vocal home crowd, with NZL Sailing Team fourth, Next Generation USA fifth and Candidate Sailing Team sixth.

RESULTS

Pool B Race 1:

1. Land Rover BAR Academy (10pts)
2. Spanish Impulse by Iberostar Team (9pts)
3. Next Generation USA (8pts)
4. TeamBDA (7pts)
5. NZL Sailing Team (6pts)
6. Candidate Sailing Team (5pts)

Pool B Race 2:

1. NZL Sailing Team (10pts)
2. Spanish Impulse by Iberostar (9pts)
3. TeamBDA (8pts)
4. Land Rover BAR Academy (7pts)
5. Next Generation USA (6pts)
6. Candidate Sailing Team (5pts)

Pool B Race 3:

1. Land Rover BAR Academy (10pts)
2. TeamBDA (9pts)
3. NZL Sailing Team (8pts)
4. Spanish Impulse by Iberostar (7pts)
5. Candidate Sailing Team (6pts)
6. Next Generation USA (5pts)

POOL B QUALIFIERS LEADERBOARD (DAY ONE)

1. Land Rover BAR Academy 27pts
2. Spanish Impulse by Iberostar 25pts
3. TeamBDA 24pts
4. NZL Sailing Team 24pts
5. Next Generation USA 19pts
6. Candidate Sailing Team 16pts

Racing on day two starts on 12th June at 5.00pm AST.

Watch the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, live on Red Bull TV on June 20 and 21 at 2:00pm local Bermuda time/5:00pm UTC.

Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit this page.

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup media hub here: www.redbullsailingnewsroom.com

 

 

Video – The America’s Cup Revolution: Foiling

https://youtu.be/xXWGSvJRACE

Startlinie0606

America’s Cup 06.06.2017

Start as you want to finish
6 Jun 2017
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Since the America’s Cup shifted to a multihull class for the 2013 (AC72) and 2017 (America’s Cup Class) events, there has been more passing in the racing than ever before.

Even if the races are much shorter, passing opportunities open up as the larger speed differentials mean any mistake is immediately and severely punished.

That being said, one truism of the old America’s Cup remains – it is better to win the start and lead around the race track, than to be chasing the race from the off.

The stats bear this out.

In Round Robin 1 of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers there were 15 races sailed. The winner of the start went on to win the race 9 times (it would be 10 times, as one of those wins – NZL over SWE, was due to an admitted error by the Umpires).

For the purposes of this analysis, we didn’t always award a win in the start to the first boat across the line. In the last race of the opening round, for example, Groupama Team France cross the starting line ahead of SoftBank Team Japan, but the Japanese team was only a second behind and going 8 knots faster. That has to be judged as a startline win to Japan.

In the few situations where the boats crossed the line all but simultaneously and at similar speeds, the leader at the first mark was judged the winner of the start.

In Round Robin 2, winning the start was even more powerfully associated with winning the race.

In three races the team that lost the start overcame that early deficit to win. And arguably, it happened only twice. In race 5, although Land Rover BAR beat Emirates Team New Zealand across the line, the Kiwis had 4 knots more speed, were gapped off to windward and closing so quickly they pressured the British team into a mistake immediately after rounding mark 1. Race over.

It’s too early to say whether this increased association between winning the start and winning the race is a trend. The teams are still learning how to sail these new boats and the pre-start playbook is being written – ahem – on the fly.

ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill had two good starts on the final day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, beating the Kiwi Peter Burling (who started under penalty) and his British rival Ben Ainslie (who started well behind and 5 knots slower).

Spithill was quick to attribute his team’s success to the work he’d been doing with coach Philippe Presti and tacticians Tom Slingsby and Andrew Campbell, saying they’d been working on pre-start plays to give them an advantage off the starting line.

And Martin Whitmarsh, the CEO of Land Rover BAR is sounding bullish on his team’s prospects in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs against the top ranked challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand, in large part due to a faith in Ben Ainslie’s match racing nous.

“We’ve had some great starts,” Whitmarsh told The Telegraph (UK) newspaper, “I think Ben can really hustle them in the pre-starts and I think they must fear that. And in these conditions, and as the wind picks up, anything can fail, anything can happen, any mistake is going to be heavily penalised.”

With the Challenger Playoffs now underway in a Semi Final >> Final format where teams are paired up against each other, watch for the pre-start playbook to evolve as the competitors become more familiar with each other.

Similar to an NFL team that can make adjustments at halftime to counter a strong opponent, whichever America’s Cup team can best evolve, adapt and improve in this crucial three minute period before the race starts is likely to emerge as the top challenger.

Of course there’s another old truism that ALWAYS applies… It’s better to win the finish than to win the start. But as we’ve seen above, winning the latter dramatically increases the chances of winning the former.

@CupScribe
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Oracle Team

America’s Cup 03.06.2017

ORACLE TEAM USA win the point as the Kiwis pick Land Rover BAR

The wait is over, and a decision has been made!

Emirates Team New Zealand have decided to take on Land Rover BAR as their opposition in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals, which start tomorrow (Sunday).

At the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Saturday, Emirates Team New Zealand finished second in the final standings, one point behind eventual winners ORACLE TEAM USA.

ORACLE TEAM USA won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and, with that victory, go into the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton with a valuable point already on the board.

However, with ORACLE TEAM USA’s place in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, already assured as the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, Emirates Team New Zealand were handed the opportunity to select their opposition in the next stage after finishing as the next highest seeded team from the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers standings.

Faced with the opportunity of taking on Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan or Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling finally ended the anticipation by revealing his answer at the final press conference of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers.“We have sat down as a team and decided we would like to pick Land Rover BAR,” said Peter Burling, who also took the opportunity to pass on the condolences of Emirates Team New Zealand to the family of New Zealand native Mary Elizabeth McKee, who passed away in Bermuda on Thursday night.

Turning back to his team’s choice of Land Rover BAR, Burling explained that, “We believe with the forecasts over the coming week that it represents our best chance of progressing through.”“Emirates Team New Zealand have certainly proved through this qualifying round to be sailing really well. They are very fast and so for us it will be a real battle. “However, we are up for it and looking forward to it.”

Emirates Team New Zealand’s decision to face Land Rover BAR means the remaining two teams to have progressed from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, SoftBank Team Japan and Artemis Racing will face off in the other Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-final.“We’ve done a lot of racing against Artemis Racing over the last 18 months and we’ve had some great battles,” said SoftBank Team Japan helmsman Dean Barker, whose side finished in fifth place with three points in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. “We know they are a very strong team, I’m sure the racing is going to be very close and it will be interesting all the way through,” said Barker.

Their opponents Artemis Racing head into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs in good form, with a final day Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers victory over Groupama Team France leaving them in fourth position on five points in the final standings. “We are excited to be here,” said Artemis Racing’s helmsman Nathan Outteridge. “We know that to go and beat ORACLE TEAM USA (in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton) we now have to beat SoftBank Team Japan and Emirates Team New Zealand. “We are up for the challenge and excited to go and do that. We’ve beaten them (SoftBank Team Japan) twice in the qualifying races and that gives the team some confidence moving forward.”

Both of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals will be decided by a first to five points race format, with the winners of each Semi-Final then facing each other in the Finals of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.

The eventual winner of that stage of the competition will then become the official Challenger to ORACLE TEAM USA for the 35th America’s Cup.

Meanwhile, after concluding the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers as winners, topping the table with nine points following back-to-back wins over Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR on Saturday, ORACLE TEAM USA will take a crucial point advantage into the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

With a two-week break from race action ahead, helmsman Jimmy Spithill and his team will continue to develop their boat and be ready to face the eventual winner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs. “That point could be critically important,” said Spithill following today’s racing. “The guys in the shore team work almost 24 hour shifts to make sure our boat is always prepared and to see that as sailors is incredibly motivating.“That gets us all hungry and makes us want to reward the guys on shore. “I don’t think we have been consistent enough throughout the qualifying stage and so we will all be working hard to get the best out of what is available to us. “In these next two weeks we will look at every component of our systems. We can’t afford to sit back. “We need to be faster to win this America’s Cup. There is a lot left for the taking and we will be making all the steps to make sure we are more efficient in every way.”

Today’s not only saw the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers but also the conclusion of Groupama Team France’s involvement in the 35th America’s Cup after they failed to progress through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.

A final day defeat to Artemis Racing confirmed their position at the bottom of the standings but helmsman Franck Cammas believes the experience from this campaign will stand them in good stead for a possible future America’s Cup appearance. “This campaign saw us take two good wins (Land Rover BAR and Artemis Racing) and that will give us good momentum to continue to the next America’s Cup,” said the French helmsman in his last 35th America’s Cup press conference. “I hope the next America’s Cup keeps the same format and same boats. With us already having our base, those things being the same will make it easier for our team to continue and perform at the next America’s Cup.”

For the final results from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers please click here.