Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team top the leaderboard after the first races of the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth. Here is what the skippers had to say after their first day of racing.
1st. Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR:
“I’ve never seen anything like it (the crowds) in all of my sailing career, so I think we’re all a little bit emotional, a little bit gob-smacked.”
“Race number one was a tough one, we had a good start and then got a bit lost on that first downwind leg, but the guys did a great job to get the Code Zero – the downwind sail – up pretty quick, and that pulled us through.”
“In race two we had a really nice start, and were leading at mark one, but it’s very difficult in those conditions to pick the direction to go, and we gybed and led to the right hand side downwind, but the left paid. It put us back in the fleet again, and the guys dug really deep to pull us through again for a first and a second on the day, we’re very happy with that.”
2nd. Pete Burling, Emirates Team New Zealand:
“It was a great day for us. It was great to be in the lead in both races a couple of times. We sailed well enough for a second in the first race but annoyingly had to settle for 3rd after the final mark rounding.”
When asked what was the key to the day Burling responded simply, “Keeping in breeze. Things are easy when you are in the breeze.”
4th. Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France:
“We were very happy to be fighting at the front of the second race. But we lost one place because of a mistake with the hoist – we were very polite with the British team, that’s why we let the British in front of us! Tomorrow I hope we won’t be so polite!
“The crowds were a good surprise, the British public is here and it’s good news because the America’s Cup has to become a big event even for those who aren’t fans of sailing. It’s a very good show for everybody.”
5th. Dean Barker, SoftBank Team Japan:
“We’re working hard to improve but it takes a certain amount of time,” Barker said. “These other teams have been doing a lot of sailing together in different boats, so we have to work hard on making improvement and eliminating mistakes to get closer to the front of the fleet.”
th. Nathan Outteridge, Artemis Racing
Problems with their code zero hoist set Artemis on the back foot in race 2.
“It was a tough day for us, and if you ask anyone on the water it was tough onboard these boats, they’re very physical to sail with really big crew work.
more info ………..Ainslie leads after day 1 at Portsmouth