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Day 2 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers

Land Rover BAR limped off the race track on Saturday and their return on Sunday did not improve their standings, instead raising more questions.

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Day 2 of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda was another day of surprises and heartbreak.

For Britain's Land Rover BAR the all-nighter to get them back on the race track did not improve their standings overall.

Instead their up and down performace raised more questions as to the control of the boat and possible on-going foil problems.

The first match-race with the America's Cup defender, Oracle Team USA, started with Ben Ainslie at his best, out-starting Oracle helm Jimmy Spithill to lead at the first mark.

But a nosedive gave away their lead and by gate 4 Oracle had taken the lead and turned this into a 39 second win.

Ainslie's second race against Emirates Team New Zealand saw them gifted a starting box penalty by Peter Burling, which gave the Brits a two length lead at the start.

ETNZ took the lead at gate 2 after a strange bear-away by BAR saw them rear-up on the leeward foil dumping the crew hull into the water. ETNZ sailed way to a 1 min 28 sec win.

This is the second time (at least) that the British boat has shown a lack of response and something they will have to fix, if they are to advance in the competition.

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Others showed that you can come back when it seems all is lost.

Groupama Team France upset the form-book with a 3 second win over Sweden's Artemis, to record their first win.

Artemis then raced a very close match with Oracle and took a 39 second win, the first defeat for the Cup defenders.

Finishing the day with their third matchrace, Oracle added to the woes of SoftBank Team Japan who had earlier lost a tight match to ETNZ, when they led from the start to record a 54 second win.

Overall Oracle Team USA lead by two points from Land Rover BAR and ETNZ who are tied on three points - But the crucial difference is that ETNZ counts three wins, while Bar counts just one win.

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BAR are flattered by their carry-over points, and the reality of the win-loss score puts BAR down with SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France at the bottom of the table.

Monday BAR will face Groupama in their final match of Round Robin 1. That is a real 'must-win' race to have any credibility.

Day 3: Revised schedule - Monday 29 May
Race 13: GBR vs France - 18:08
Race 14: Sweden vs NZ - 18:37
Race 15: France vs Japan - 19:06

Round Robin 2 will start Tuesday 30 May from 18:00 hrs.

Gerald New - Sailweb
28 May 2017 21:48 GMT


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