Sir Ben Ainslie, CEO and Skipper of British America’s Cup Challenger Land Rover BAR has come out on the defensive in a column in the Daily Telegraph after the team’s performance in the latest Practice Session which concluded last Friday week in Bermuda.
In that session, the British team competed only on the final day of what turned out to be a four day session, for a one win, one loss record. Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan contested 10 and 11 races respectively, with Artemis topping the table with an 8win 2 loss record.
With just a few weeks to go now until the start of the 35th America’s Cup, the intensity out here in Bermuda is full on. Everyone is pushing 24/7 to eke out any last bit of performance from their race boats. The good news, from our point of view, is that we feel we have more potential gains to realise than perhaps some of our rivals do.
I sense there has been a bit of negativity floating back across the Atlantic recently regarding Land Rover BAR’s chances in the forthcoming Cup. The bulk of that negativity stems from some of the practice racing that has been taking place out here and comments made by some rivals and so-called experts.
Well, to paraphrase Mark Twain, I’m here to reassure you that reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The truth is, as a new team, we were always going to come at this campaign with a late charge.
Artemis, Emirates Team New Zealand, Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan – by association with Oracle – effectively carried straight on from the last cycle. They have always been 12 months ahead of the likes of ourselves and Team France simply because they already had their design teams set up and began their development cycle that bit before us.
But that gap is shrinking fast as we get closer to the main event.
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