America’s Cup racing returned to Portsmouth, where it all began, as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth kicked off on Saturday the 23rd of July 2016.
Day 1 of racing concluded with all teams working hard to battle on Super Sunday to gain a spot on the podium. ORACLE TEAM USA opened Super Sunday at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth with a second place finish and followed up with two race victories to close within just one point off the winning home team of Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR.
But that was as close as Skipper Jimmy Spithill and his crew could get.
“It was a good Sunday, we won the day, but it just wasn’t enough,” Spithill said. “It came down to consistency. On Saturday BAR had a fifth and we had a sixth and that’s the one point that would have made the difference.”
The final result was a second place finish for ORACLE TEAM USA, leaving the crew just one point back on the event leaderboard and in the overall series standings.
SoftBank Team Japan wrapped up the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth with their second podium finish in a row after a breathtaking day of racing on in England.
The team hit the water aiming to defend their narrow third place position achieved the day before with only three points separating the top four teams on the leaderboard. Then, in race two, the team accelerated their attacks and consolidated their hold on the podium.
“Great for the team to have two podiums in a row – it’s really good for the team”, said Skipper Dean Barker. “The best part is we see the work is paying off we’ve been putting in. I think we may have felt like we sailed the boat better in Chicago but I think here we sailed better races which was key. Our consistency was great over the six races, which was good.”
He added, “We saw with BAR and ORACLE TEAM USA that those two teams are quite dominant. We have to fine-tune our boat handling and communication and close the gap but this is a development process for us. We have less than 12 months until the America’s Cup in Bermuda so we will just keep improving and getting better, it really is as simple as that.”
Behind the US and Brits was SoftBank Team Japan in third, Emirates Team New Zealand in fourth, Groupama Team France in fifth and Artemis Racing sixth. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth was a successful event, with the full race schedule completed, large and boisterous crowds cheering on a hometown hero, and some great racing conditions. An appearance by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was a highlight moment. ORACLE TEAM USA meets with TRHs The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Skipper Jimmy Spithill shakes hands with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Here’s our Play of the Day for Day 1, when Land Rover BAR broke away from the fleet to win Race 2 in front of their British fans:
And our Play of the Day for Day 2 as Land Rover BAR secures a win at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth. They held off the rest of the fleet to take second in the final race and secure their victory overall in the event:
America’s Cup racing will continue in Toulon, France from the 10th to the 11th of September and will then move on to Fukuoka, Japan from the 18th to the 20th of November.
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Sperry is an Official Partner of the 35th America’s Cup, the exclusive Official Footwear Supplier of ORACLE TEAM USA and the Official Supplier of SoftBank Team Japan. (via ORACLE TEAM USA, SoftBank Team Japan and AmericasCup.com)