Thursday, February 25, 2016

Light Winds Set To Challenge Ben and His Boys

The 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (ACWS) kicks off in Oman on Saturday with the first event of the season. Land Rover BAR begin the year in third place, three points behind Oracle Team USA and 13 points behind Emirates Team New Zealand.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The team have been preparing their AC45F over the past few days and yesterday was their first opportunity to get out on the water. A full practice session is scheduled for Friday, with three races a day on Saturday and Sunday.

Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Team Principal: 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
"2016 is going to be a really exciting year for us. We are heavily into our testing phase back home in Portsmouth, with our second testing boat, T2 back out on the water after our capsize at the end of 2015. There's a great line up in the America's Cup World Series with a full schedule of events. There's a lot to do for the team but we are happy with the progress going forward.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
"I think for a new team – as we are – we felt happy with our third place position after the 2015 season, but we absolutely want to be moving up now. We want to be performing at the top of this America's Cup fleet.
Photo: © Harry KH / Land Rover BAR
"Oman looks set to be a great event, some of the team have raced here before, including myself and we like it. It's been four months since Bermuda and we are looking forward to getting back out."

Giles Scott, Tactician: 

"We are all really excited to be racing again. After Bermuda we felt like we had things to build on, we need to manage the number of tacks and gybes – every manoeuvre has to be really thought about, so not to lose boat lengths.

"We know it will be light conditions, we're expecting 6-10 knots, so it will all be about sailing well and light wind technique. But you've really got to keep your eyes open for the pressure [wind] – if you get an extra two knots of wind come through then the boat speed increase could be huge."

Jono Macbeth, Sailing Team Manager: 

"We are really looking forward to getting back out on the race course this week. We ended the 2015 season feeling a little frustrated, but overall we feel in a good position with where we are heading into 2016, and everything we learnt from the three 2015 ACWS events.

"Since the last event in Bermuda [in October] we've been out training on T2 – our second test boat – on the Solent, and have also returned to Bermuda for a training camp at the start of the year. So we've been making some good gains where we can, and hope to see them put into play in Muscat. Every race this weekend will be an opportunity to learn more, and we will continue to give it everything on the race course to get some solid results in this season."

David 'Freddie' Carr, Runner:

"In these light conditions, you just have to treat things a little more softly on the boat, not putting maximum body weight on anything as you don't want to shake the boat - so you're kind of a 'cat in silk slippers' as we call it. It's going to be a tough event, a racing cauldron in this heat and the short course racing will be hard - you've got to keep a cool head, keep chipping away and take your opportunities as they come."

Friday has official practice racing followed by the Opening Ceremony. Racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday - with each race on Sunday counting as double points - beginning at 14:00local time (GMT+4) each day.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Leaderboard after three events:

1. Emirates Team New Zealand 122
2. Oracle Team USA 112
3. Land Rover BAR 109
4. Artemis Racing 105
5. SoftBank Team Japan 100
6. Groupama Team France 82

Land Rover BAR Media

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