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Groupama Team France

Land Rover BAR Maintain Overall Lead

LVACWS_Toulon

We were in for some interesting racing conditions as inconsistent and light winds threatened some of the race schedule at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon.  But the crowds were lucky enough to witness the full show whilst basking under the Mediterranean sun, surrounded by beautiful, mountainous scenery. 

Day 1 of racing came down to tactics rather than speed due to the light and “flaky” breeze which ended with a tie on points between Oracle Team USA and Land Rover BAR.  The day demonstrated the unpredictable and thrilling nature of the America’s Cup with Land Rover BAR jumping from last place to first in the space of two races.  The stars of the day though were Artemis Racing who dominated with two first places and a third. 

Day 2 saw Nathan Outteridge’s Olympic skills at play once more as Artemis Racing took first place in the first race of the day and Soft Bank Team Japan took second – an improvement on the poor performance from Day 1.

The second race of the day saw Land Rover BAR storm to the front of the race.  By the time they came to cross the finish line, their lead gap was so big (1min 51) that they passed the rest of the fleet who were still trying to complete the 4th leg. Home team, Groupama Team France took second place.

In the final race, despite a good performance from Groupama Team France, Dean Barker of Soft Bank Japan took first place which earnt them second place in the regatta.

Artemis Racing’s fantastic performance resulted in three race wins out six and sealed their regatta victory in the Bay of Toulon. However, Land Rover BAR’s 4th position of the final race secured their place at the top of the overall standings where they’ve now taken the America’s Cup World Series lead by 14 points.

The Final Show Down

There is only one America’s Cup World Series to go and we’re off to Fukuoka, Japan for Asia’s first hosting of an America’s Cup race within the sport’s 165 year history.  The city will be buzzing with excited crowds and nail biting fans as the teams battle it out one last time - the winner of which will take a two point lead into the double round robin Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda in May 2017. The team finishing second will take one point which could play to their advantage in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.  Take a look at the racing schedule here.

Do you want be a part of history? Join us in Bermuda next year to watch the best sailors battle it out for the 35th America’s Cup.  We can help organise your trip and because we know how important it is to get the best racing views, our exclusive accommodation packages include official on the water spectator tickets - so you won’t miss a thing.  Find out more here.

From Portsmouth to Toulon

With the next stage of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series just around the corner, we take a look back at some of the highlights from Portsmouth and look forward to Toulon

Portsmouth was a spectacular event by all means, with the unpredictable British weather on its best behaviour and over 130,000 spectators who flocked to this historic naval city for the best view of the sailing action.  There were some royal visitors too including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Official Race day 1

The teams would have preferred more than the 7 knots of breeze, but still we saw some great racing. The first race of the day saw three teams incur penalties but Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France got away well.  Despite the fact their boat needed some maintenance the night before, the French sailors oozed confidence as they took the lead with ease. Groupama Team France won the race with a 1 minute 38 second gap to second place, Oracle Team USA.

Race 2 saw Land Rover BAR showed their knowledge on home waters to take the lead, flying past the fleet and managing to stay out of trouble at the second mark. Light winds and a strong current caused the other teams to struggle and fight for positions and the home fans were thrilled as they flew across the finish line, taking the race win.

Race 3 saw Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France get away without penalties and by the second gate, the two boats were split only by SoftBank Team Japan.  It was cat and mouse for a while between both teams but yet again Sir Ben Ainslie’s clever tactics saw Land Rover BAR take the win.

Official Race day 2 - Super Sunday

A big day with double points on offer and excellent foiling conditions on the water. Land Rover BAR started at the top of the first day leader board and their confidence saw them take the lead at the start of the Race 1.  As the other teams flew down wind at 22 knots to catch them up, it quickly turned into a two boat duel but Land Rover BAR were victorious in crossing the finish line first as their lead was never fully challenged.

Race 2 proved testing but Oracle Team USA took the lead early on.  We saw some great sailing from Emirates Team New Zealand and SoftBank Team Japan, but it was Land Rover BAR who managed to get a smoother run on the foils and started closing down Oracle Team USA. The Americans got the best out of the wind though and they took their first victory of the weekend.    

The final race saw Oracle Team USA take the lead once again, with Land Rover BAR as a strong challenger and SoftBank Team Japan doing their best to close the gap.  Although Oracle Team USA were first over the line, Land Rover BAR took the win of the weekend and also celebrated being top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leader board.

Toulon

There has been a lot of buzz since the America's Cup World Series Portsmouth event.  The 2016 Olympic Games saw a wealth of medals claimed by America’s Cup sailors.  Gold medals went to Land Rover BAR’s Giles Scott and Emirates Team New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.  Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen of Artemis Racing took silver as did SoftBank Team Japan’s Jason Waterhouse.  As the competitors return to their teams, bringing them back up to full strength once more, they will no doubt boost team moral and confidence too.

In the run up to Toulon, social media has been alive with videos, pictures and news of the sailors’ preparations.  SoftBank Team Japan made the big announcement that they’d cracked the foiling tack earlier in the year whilst training in Bermuda.  This manoeuvre, regarded as the “Holy Grail” of the America’s Cup, could be a real game changer for the team as it greatly reduces the time deficit incurred by slowing down to change tack.  Soon after the announcement, Oracle Team USA claimed they’d also achieved the same success in training.

Staying up on the foils provides the sailors with a huge speed advantage and so Toulon will be an interesting battle ground for those who can perform this manoeuvre under racing conditions.  The pressure is also on for Land Rover BAR – can they maintain their position at the top of the leader board or will Emirates Team New Zealand close the gap? 

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