Toulon, France – 10-11 Sept 2016
Giles Scott returns to his role as tactician in Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team in this weekend’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series regatta in Toulon after winning a gold medal for Team GB in the Finn Class at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Scott’s victory means that Great Britain has now won the Finn at the last five Olympics – a run that started with Iain Percy in Sydney 2000 and continues with Sir Ben Ainslie’s back-to-back wins at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Toulon is the host of the penultimate round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series before attention turns to the last event in Fukuoka, Japan, and then the America’s Cup itself in Bermuda beginning with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in March 2017.
All six teams will be fighting harder than ever for valuable points in France, and then again at the last event in November.
Toulon, France (10 September, 2016)
The results of the first day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon, the penultimate round of the series before Bermuda 2017, leaves the overall leaderboard closer than ever, with everything to play for across the whole pack tomorrow.
ORACLE TEAM USA and Land Rover BAR are now tied on the same points heading into Sunday, but it is Artemis Racing who really basked in the Mediterranean sunshine today, taking two first places and a third to dominate the first day of racing, held in light winds.
Toulon, France (11 September, 2016) – Late summer sunshine greeted the thousands of spectators who made it out in force for Super Sunday at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon, and it is Artemis Racing who leave France celebrating after taking the regatta honours.
Behind them, Softbank Team Japan went from last on Saturday to finishing second overall, an incredible turnaround, but the British on Land Rover BAR were also looking much happier than they had on Saturday night, ending up third overall from fifth the day before – that result extends their overall lead in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series as attention now turns to the final event in Fukuoka, Japan.
The first race of Sunday was race four, led away by Emirates Team New Zealand under the helm of Olympic Champion Pete Burling, but, as per Saturday, Artemis Racing were quickly up ahead and around the first mark ahead of Softbank Team Japan who were very keen to make amends for their disappointing Saturday. Behind them Land Rover BAR had a penalty before the start-line but fought hard up to third place at the halfway mark with ORACLE TEAM USA, Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand behind. Artemis stretched their lead, crossing the line at the end of race three first for the third time over the weekend, but it was Groupama Team France who were most disappointed with race four, finishing in sixth behind Emirates Team New Zealand and slipping to fourth in the regatta standings. Land Rover BAR held that third place, but ORACLE TEAM USA kept up the overall standings pressure just behind in fourth, so everything was there to play for in races five and six.
French fans were hoping for a better showing from Groupama Team France in race five but it was Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR who seized the early advantage, streaking ahead to the first mark, but to loud cheers from the shore, Groupama Team France were second, showing the sort of form that put them into second place overnight in the regatta on Saturday. Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan both had to serve penalties after the start, but all eyes were on the French team in second and they did not disappoint, pushing the Brits all the way. However, yet again in Toulon, Artemis Racing were the team to watch, moving their way up to third by the start of leg four. Behind them, ORACLE TEAM USA were having a race to forget in sixth, as were Softbank Team Japan who were in fifth, leaving Emirates Team New Zealand in fourth. At the finish line of race five the positions had not changed – Land Rover BAR in first, Groupama Team France second and Artemis Racing third, but Softbank Team Japan had moved into fourth, leaving ORACLE TEAM USA battling it out with Emirates Team New Zealand for fifth and sixth respectively.
Race six, the decider and an utterly enthralling and topsy-turvy race. A messy start for ORACLE TEAM USA and Artemis Racing who were both hit with penalties for crossing the start line early, but Groupama Team France finally showed their mettle, putting clear air between themselves and Softbank Team Japan in second and taking a huge early advantage. Land Rover BAR picked up a penalty for not giving room to Emirates Team New Zealand, relegating them to the back of the fleet, but throughout the race that ensued there were lead changes in the overall standings throughout, keeping the fans watching live at the event and on TV on the edge of their seats. One minute it was Groupama Team France up ahead, then suddenly Softbank Team Japan were out in front, Emirates Team New Zealand were second and the home team, Groupama Team France, were third, and thus race six finished.
With that result in the last race, Softbank Team Japan, sixth on Saturday, had, incredibly, put themselves into second overall in the regatta, but it was Artemis Racing who were really celebrating, taking overall regatta honours despite finishing fifth in race six. Land Rover BAR finished the weekend third, extending their lead in the overall series to 14 points over ORACLE TEAM USA, so the pressure in the last round in Fukuoka, Japan, will be intense, but for now, the Swedish are celebrating harder than anyone and will be looking to continue that form in Asia.
Final Results (6 races)
1. Artemis Racing (1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 5) – 76 points
2. SoftBank Team Japan (5, 4, 5, 2, 4, 1) – 71 points
3. Land Rover BAR (6, 6, 1, 3, 1, 4) – 70 points
4. Groupama Team France (4, 3, 2, 6, 2, 3)– 68 points
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (2, 2, 6, 5, 6, 2) – 63 points
6. ORACLE TEAM USA (3, 5, 4, 4, 5, 6) – 57 points
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Overall Leaderboard
1. Land Rover BAR – 437 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 423 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand – 420 points
4. SoftBank Team Japan – 399 points
5. Artemis Racing – 391 points
6. Groupama Team France – 360 points