Land Rover BAR in the Driver’s Seat?

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
Two-boat testing on England’s Solent

Two-boat testing on England’s Solent

At press time the world had not yet had a chance to see the new AC50 box-rule catamarans that will be used for actual Cup competition this summer in Bermuda. However, with the conclusion of the America’s Cup World Series, which has been taking place over the past couple of years aboard full-foiling AC45s, we do have a better idea as to which is the team to beat, and that team is the British.

In addition to winning the world series overall, Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team only failed to log a podium finish in two of the nine events, and it had finished first on four separate occasions—no huge surprise given Ainslie is very much an AC veteran having served as tactician during Oracle’s epic comeback in the last Cup, not to mention a five-time Olympic medalist.

Second place overall in the World Series was the Defender, Oracle Team USA, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing, Softbank Team Japan and Groupama Team France.

Sir Ben Ainslie is no stranger to Cup competition

Sir Ben Ainslie is no stranger to Cup competition

Of course, there’s all the difference in the world between winning in a one-design like an AC45, and having to design a winning boat of your own. And veteran teams like Emirates, Artemis and the Defender have design experience in spades. Nonetheless, Ainslie says he’s confident his team’s success out on the water can meet with success on the drafting table as well.

“Ultimately, until we line up and start racing against these teams, we’ll never really know for sure. But I think that from the observations we’ve got off the other teams, our design concepts are very good,” Ainslie says. “We’ve just got to keep pushing. We’re going to have ups and downs, for sure, and there’s going to be loads of issues thrown at us, some of our making, some not. That’s inevitable, so we’ve got to just keep dealing with it, and keep pushing to the end.”

Photos courtesy of Harry KH/Land Rover BAR

February 2017

Related

Meridian-X-Spin_2

MOB: A Whistle in the Wind

Mark Wheeler went overboard a few minutes before midnight. He was in the middle of Lake Michigan, 30 miles offshore in 40 knots of wind. As he fumbled for the lanyard to inflate his lifejacket he watched his racing sailboat, Meridian X, disappear into the night at more than 18 ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Slapper stopper  When I came on deck at 0800 to hoist my colors on a visitors’ mooring recently, there was an awkward slop running in. This doesn’t trouble my Mason 44, which has a traditional counter ...read more

Tilly-1

Gear: Tilley Polaris Hat

A True Blue Tilley Sailing is all about fun in the sun, but it sometimes doesn’t take long to get too much of a good thing, especially when on a prolonged cruise or offshore passage. Enter the Tilley Polaris, the latest lid developed by iconic Canadian hat-maker Tilley. ...read more

Sand-TOWEL_MODEL-3

CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel

Sand Be Gone! The summer is hot and full of terrors—not the least of which is the sand that sticks in your beach towel in the hopes of a free ride back to your car or boat. Fortunately, there's now the CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel, engineered in polyester to not only dry quickly ...read more

01-Blowup-Tiwal2_sailing-(3)

Gear: Tiwal Inflatable Sailing Dinghy

Blow-up Boating A few years ago, the French company Tiwal arrived on U.S. shores with that most improbable of products, an inflatable sailing dinghy that actually sails the way a boat is supposed to. Now, nearly 1,000 Tiwal 3’s later, the company is back with its Tiwal 2, an ...read more

Koozy

Gear: 22 Below Koozie

Killer Koozie For all that sailors love the warmth of this time of year, that same warmth can also wreak havoc on their otherwise icy-cold beers. (Unless, of course, you drink them very, very fast. But we won’t go there.) To help deal with this terrible hardship, North ...read more

Cool-Specs

Gear: Gill's Race Fusion Sunglasses

Wicked Cool Specs Is there anything in the world of sailing more fun than a cool pair of shades? Heck, no! And it would hard to find a cooler pair than these new Race Fusion specs from longtime weather-gear manufacture Gill. In addition to looking great, they include a number of ...read more

North_new

Gear: North Sails Waterproof Pack

A few years ago, North Sails made a big push into the apparel business with all kinds of sharp-looking button-down shirts, shorts and fleeces. That doesn’t mean, though, that the North Sails Collection isn’t still plenty practical, as is evident in its new roll-over waterproof ...read more