Following on from the team’s win in Portsmouth, Land Rover BAR are heading to the next Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in Gothenburg.
Land Rover BAR Sailing Team Manager and three-times America’s Cup winner, Jonathan ‘Jono’ Macbeth on how the team plan to follow up on their success. Racing takes places on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August, with two races scheduled each day and double points on the table for Super Sunday.
Portsmouth was a great result for the team, how did you debrief from the Portsmouth event?
We drew on all analysis within the team here, from our coach Rob Wilson, to the performance analysis team and the sailors, to provide an overview of how we performed. We were brutally honest about our performance and the areas that we thought were strong in and the areas that we thought we could improve in. With a fleet this strong we need keep continually improving if we are going to be successful.
Can you outline the preparation for Gothenburg
Once we had completed the debrief it was a case of looking forward to Gothenburg and trying to supply the sailors with as much data as possible to improve performance on the water and build a good picture of the venue in Gothenburg.
Jess Sweeney our Chief Meteorologist has been creating a detailed view of the venue, doing a weather analysis on the race course area, to help the team understand how the different wind directions could affect the boundaries on the race course and so on.
Alongside this the focus has once again been on our fitness, because we believe that is an incredibly important part of these boats. We’ve been sailing in our 20 foot foiling boats where we can simulate racing and starting. We also have our testing programme going on in parallel to get some time together as a full crew out on the water, and work on some of the details we identified in the debrief.
What sort of conditions do you think the team will face in Gothenburg?
I think Gothenburg could throw up a little bit of everything. Traditionally it looks like it’s quite a light wind venue, but in the daily forecasts that we have been looking at so far there might be a mix of conditions. It can be anywhere from 7 – 20 knots, sometimes you can get nothing, on the flip side I have been racing there and experienced quite a lot of wind. So we’re gearing up for everything.
It will be a sailor’s race course for sure. This regatta will be all about extracting the most from the boat, ensuring that you have good speed in and out of the manoeuvres, making sure that the boat is going as fast as possible all the times. At the same time the sailors will need to be heads out of the boat, looking round, seeing wind shifts and pressure changes.
What are the team’s goals for Gothenburg?
Gothenburg will be the second leg of a long tough series. Portsmouth was a great regatta for us, yes it was a good start but by no means was it an indication of the final standing, we have a long, long way to go. As a team we have our feet firmly on the ground, we understand the level of competition. We are certainly not going into Sweden thinking that we’re favourites.
How do you see the series developing?
When we started this series, I didn’t think there would be one team that dominated, the fleet is just so strong. It is going to come down to the sailors minimising mistakes. If you look at the way the races developed in Portsmouth there were big gains and losses on the race course throughout the build up and during the weekend.
But at the end of the day it was the same principals of yachting racing that won or lost races, good tactics can win you the race, poor boat handling could lose you the race. The other thing that was quite evident is that you can never give up. Just when you thought someone was dead and buried, they would come ripping through and be at the front of the fleet again.