A stunning final day performance from Land Rover BAR took the ultimate round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in Japan yesterday (Sunday)– and with the win they became 2015-2016 ACWS Champions.
A roller coaster day saw the team lock out the USA and New Zealand – the 2 closest overall opponents – at the start of the first race, only to watch them fly by on the run. Land Rover BAR recovered to a 4th but with the Kiwis and Americans in 2nd and 3rd it was still wide open.
The team kept supporters on their toes as they broke the line early in race 2, with NZ and the USA clear leaders at the start gun. A stunning recovery on the first lap saw them back into the pack, and with an incredible final leg pass of the Americans, Land Rover BAR sealed the World Series win. A third in the final race meant the full champagne moment as Ben Ainslie and crew closed out the double with a win for the Fukuoka event.
It’s been an extraordinary season, with consistency the key. In 9 events, the team have only been off the podium twice, recording 4 event wins (Portsmouth x2, Oman and Fukuoka), bolstered by a second (Chicago) and 2 third places (Gothenburg and Toulon). The World Series win means that the team will take 2 vital bonus points into the next round of the competition, the America’s Cup Qualifiers, starting 26th May 2017 in Bermuda.
Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Team Principal has said:
“It was an amazing day for the team because our core goal was to win the overall series, that is what we came here to do. To achieve that and come out on top in the final event to get four regatta wins in the overall series, that is a huge achievement from a completely new team.
“Two and a half years ago we had absolutely nothing, so what we have achieved in building the team, the infrastructure, and this performance in the World Series is something we should all be incredibly proud of – but at the same time it’s just one step in our journey to the America’s Cup. Our objective was to get the two bonus points and we’ve got that, and now the focus is clearly on the race boat and the performance next summer in Bermuda.
“I am absolutely delighted by how things have gone, but at the same time I know our team and how focused they are on the America’s Cup. We will be straight into training in Bermuda and getting best prepared for the America’s Cup to try and bring it home after a 167 years of hurt.”