SAIL - - Experience Under Sail -

If ever there was a chance for Great Bri­tain to win back the Cup, this is it. Not only did Land Rover BAR fin­ish first over­all in the Amer­ica’s Cup World Series, it did so de­ci­sively: win­ning four of the nine re­gat­tas and only fail­ing to make the podium twice. Then, of course, there’s the team helms­man and prin­ci­pal, Sir Ben Ainslie, a fe­ro­ciously com­pet­i­tive ath­lete who is not only the most suc­cess­ful Olympic sailor of all time but was also the tac­ti­cian aboard Or­a­cle Team USA dur­ing “the come­back.” Any­one who saw him come from be­hind to see him win his fi­nal gold medal in the Finn class at the 2008 Olympics knows the more des­per­ate the straits Ainslie finds him­self in, the more dan­ger­ous he be­comes. Be­yond that, the re­fresh­ingly na­tion­al­ist team, in which nearly all the sailors are Bri­tish, fea­tures many other heavy hit­ters, in­clud­ing Luna Rossa cam­paign veteran Paul Campbell James, James’s Luna Rossa team­mate Nick Hut­ton and de­fend­ing Finn Olympic Gold medal­ist, Giles Scott. One pos­si­ble fly in the oint­ment: de­spite years of de­vel­op­ment, Land Rover BAR’s ACC was ru­mored to be a bit slow. How­ever, get­ting boats like these into fight­ing trim after their launch can be as im­por­tant as ac­tu­ally build­ing them—case in point, Or­a­cle Team USA’s boat in the 34th Cup—so it would be fool­ish to count this bunch out. And just imag­ine what it would be like if the next Amer­ica’s Cup ac­tu­ally took place on the So­lent!


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