Land Rover BAR has won the first Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series of 2015 with a stunning Saturday performance. Achieving a race win on their first outing and a second place in the following race, proved a perfect start to the team's journey to bring the America's Cup back to Britain.
The first day of competition for the 35th America's Cup was a stunning mix of sunshine, breeze, huge crowds on the Portsmouth waterfront and success for the team. A fresh north-westerly wind provided marginal foiling conditions for all the teams. It put boat-handling, sail choice and tactics at a premium, and Land Rover BAR proved rock solid on all accounts.
Contrasting the ideal sailing conditions on Saturday, the second day of competition for the 35th America's Cup was cancelled as a low pressure system swept across Britain, bringing gale force winds. The loss of the final two races on Super Sunday meant that the prizes were settled on Saturday's results - leaving Land Rover BAR as winners.
Land Rover BAR were visited by the royal couple on the Sunday, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Like hundreds of thousands of others, they had visited Portsmouth hoping to see the America's Cup contenders go into battle. The Duchess of Cambridge is a keen supporter of sailing, highlighted by her Patronage with the '1851 Trust', the official charity of Land Rover BAR and the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event, which seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry.
Despite the lack of action on the water they still had a busy day, meeting the sailors from the different teams, and many of the people that had helped put on the event. They also visited the new home of Land Rover BAR, to meet both team members and their families, and concluded the day by presenting the prizes in a ceremony at the Historic Dockyard.
Skipper and Team Principal; Ben Ainslie: "I'm really proud of what the team has achieved this weekend, not just on the water but with our team here at the facility in Portsmouth. To win the first Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series of 2015 in front of our home crowd is massive for our team, and sets us up for a very exciting future."
Sailing Team Manager; Jono Macbeth: "I think it just goes to show that you need to go out there every day and race your hardest. The boys did a fantastic job on Saturday, they got the boat round the track and they did what was required. We were hoping for another day like Saturday, but that wasn't to be, conditions out there were past top end, and not suitable for sailing. Onward and upwards, we have Gothenburg and Bermuda coming up, we're going to have a fantastic series and I think there's a lot of excitement to come in the future."
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series moves on to Gothenburg, Sweden on the 28-30th August and Hamilton, Bermuda on 16-18th October.
Final standings (after two races):
1. Land Rover BAR - 19 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand - 18 points
3. ORACLE TEAM USA - 16 points
4. Groupama Team France - 13 points
5. SoftBank Team Japan - 13 points
6. Artemis Racing - 11 points