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America's Cup

Day 1 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

Day 1 of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda provide plenty of excitment.BAR damage -

If anyone had doubts about the ability of the new foiling multihulls to provide sufficient excitement, they were swept away as the teams joined in some close racing and unexpected results.

The America's Cup defenders, Oracle Team USA, showed their power with an easy win over Groupama Team France and then a tight win over Emirates Team New Zealand.

Oracle the only team with two wins at hte end of the day.

Artemis Racing of Sweden started with a come-back win over SoftBank Team Japan, after a poor start, but then were outpaced by Land Rover BAR in their second.

Emirates Team New Zealand took an easy win over Groupama Team France who are proving to be the weakest link.

SoftBank Team Japan lost out to Artemis but after a collision with the Brits at the start of their matchrace, were able to claim a penalty and force Land Rover BAR to start two lengths back.

The Brits never recovered and were taking on water for the rest of the race and will have hull damage to repair overnight.

The damage sustained is being assessed by Martin Whitmarsh and the team more to follow . . .

France is the only team without a win after the first day of the double Round Robin, which continues Sunday with another six races.

Ainslie checks for damage - Click image for a larger image

All hands to the pumps - Click image for a larger image

Questions will be asked - especially by the Kiwi media - about the apparent slow reaction by Ben Ainslie to the luff by the Japanese boat as they approached the start line.

It seemed that Ainslie did not anticipate the speed of Dean Barker's approach or determination to challenge for the inside berth on the line.

The UK TV timing for BT Sport, Freeview BT Sport Showcase HD channel 115 and on Virgin channel 548 from 18:00-21:00 hrs UK (14:00 Bermuda time)

Day 2: Revised schedule - Sunday 28 May

Race 7: Sweden vs France
Race 8: USA vs GBR
Race 9: Japan vs NZ
Race 10: USA vs Sweden
Race 11: NZ vs GBR
Race 12: Japan vs USA

Day 3: Revised schedule - Monday 29 May
Race 13: GBR vs France
Race 14: Sweden vs NZ
Race 15: France vs Japan

Click image for a larger image

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