This weekend’s racing is part of a lengthy qualification process that will count towards the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger Series, the victor of which will take on Oracle in the 2017 America’s Cup.
That left Team New Zealand, BAR and Team USA tied on points, with Sweden’s Artemis Racing just two points adrift for what was effectively a victor takes all final race between the four teams.
“It was a tricky afternoon, but our guys had a forecast for it being light like this for quite a few days, so we’ve been preparing for it since we arrived”, Burling said.
“It is precisely what we set out to do, so all in all we are really elated with today and with the regatta as a whole”.
“We were coming back from a hard position in both races”.
Two fourth-place finishes dropped America’s Cup holders Oracle Team USA to second place.
“We were really proud being able to perform under pressure in that last race”, Team New Zealand Helmsman Peter Burling said.
Angles were very tight on the downwind legs as boats sailed very hot angles – nearly reaching across the wind to build some speed before turning downwind a little. We’ll get the boat fixed up and be ready for tomorrow. Two second place finishes on Saturday had the team poised for another top finish. I made two poor decisions at key moments, once in each race.
“It’s frustrating”, admitted skipper Ben Ainslie.
In the first race of the day the local favourites Artemis Racing got off to a strong start and by the bottom mark had picked up a puff which eluded the fleet and were away to take a significant win to put them right back in the hunt for the overall win after an indifferent first day. We got past Artemis Racing and almost caught ORACLE TEAM USA at the end, so that was important.
BAR were third and fourth in today’s two races, and Ainslie said: “In both races the start was critical, and in both races we weren’t great”.
“We also had a couple of good results in the practice races as well, so hopefully we carry that through to Bermuda”.
“It was good to finish third in the last race”, said skipper Franck Cammas.
The day started well for the hometown heroes on Artemis Racing, who have struggled to put together consistently good results. “But we were really happy with the way we sailed but a fantastic result for us”.
“To see so many spectators around the race course supporting us is pretty inspiring”.