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Crunch day for Land Rover BAR

Final day of the first Round Robin of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and crunch day for Land Rover BAR.

Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team have seen the good times and the bad times.

They now have one more race - against Groupama Team France - to finish the first Round Robin series as a viable America's Cup competitor.

When they flew out of the blocks in their first match on Saturday, there was a huge sigh of relief from the British pundits, as it looked like the lacklustre displays of the practice sessions were behind them.

Not so, the win over Sweden remains their only victory to date, and their performance thereafter has raised questions of the boat handling.

The incident with SoftBank Team Japan in the starting procedure was nearly a game-over situation. Ainslie's decision to continue the race with the boat badly damaged and the electronic systems at risk, added to the workload.

A bravo performance from the shore crew got them backout on the Sound for day 2, but the boat perfomance was erratic, with heavy splash-downs and uncontrolled mark roundings.

Land Rover BAR have one race Monday, against Groupama Team France, to complete Round Robin 1.

After day 1 this must have looked like a straight forward win for BAR, but with the French win over Sweden's Artemis Sunday and the loss of form for BAR, all bets are off.

France are racing twice Monday and skipper Franck Cammas knows that victories over BAR and SoftBank Team Japan could radically change the leaderboard and his future in the series.

If Ainslie and his backroom team cannot find the fast forward button today, the tag 'there is no second' could come back to haunt them.

The UK TV timing for BT Sport, Freeview BT Sport Showcase HD channel 115 and on Virgin channel 548 from 18:00-19:30 hrs UK time.

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.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
29 May 2017 8:14 GMT


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