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America's Cup

Relief for Ainslie as they take 2nd win

The second tranch of races for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers got underway in Bermuda on Tuesday.Win over Artemis takes pressure off Brits -

In the second Round Robin series the five challenger and the defender, Oracle team USA, each race each other again.

At the end of which the lowest placed team is eliminated, and the remaining four challengers will contest a knockout series to decide the actual America's Cup challenger to meet Oracle Team USA.

The first day of Round Robin 2 did not throw up any major upsets, it was more of a consolidation of the first round situation, with the important proviso that BAR finally got a second win.

Artemis of Sweden facing Emirates Team New Zealand were looking for redemption, following the Umpiring errors of Monday which cost them a race win, but it was not to be.

ETNZ - Click image for a larger image

Artemis started well and led at first mark, then ETNZ lost rudder control approaching gate 2 and splashed down allowing Artemis to increase their lead.

All was well until the approach to gate 5, where ETNZ caught Artemis on port and they had to take a penalty, letting ETNZ take an easy win.

The second match was cup holder Oracle Team USA versus Groupama Team France. No one was sure how the French would fare following their improved recent performance.

In the event it was a fairly straight-forward win for Oracle, leading from the start at 40 knots to the first mark. They eventually finished 1 minute 56 secs ahead.

Oracle team USA - Click image for a larger image

In the final race of the day Artemis was back in action and facing Land Rover BAR, who had only one win on the board after the first Round Robin series.

Just what to expect from Ben Ainslie and the BAR team has been a tricky question. Their erratic performance has shredded the nerves of their supporters, but today was a more controlled performance.

Ainslie showed his starting skills and grabbed the lead, sailing at 43 knots to the first mark for a 10 second lead.

BAR kept control of the race, not showing the control problems of previous races, maybe due to the lighter wind conditions. They finished with a 30 second lead.

This win puts BAR level in race wins (2 wins after 6 races) with Sweden, Japan and France, but still with the two point bonus advantage keeping them off the bottom place.

Ben Ainslie, "It was a big day for our team. We've had a couple of really tough days with a couple of losses on the run and we really needed to turn that around."

"We had some pretty frank conversations last night, and we all knew what we had to do today. It's a big boost for the team and we must now keep improving and moving forward."

Wednesday the Brits will face ETNZ and then Groupama Team France, while SoftBank Team Japan return to the course with matches against Groupama Team France and Oracle team USA.

Overall Oracle and ETNZ are the two stand-out teams, both have 5 wins from 6 races. No one else has more than 2 wins.

Round Robin 2 - Day 2 Wednesday 31 May
Race 4: Japan vs France - 18:08
Race 5: GBR vs NZ - 18:37
Race 6: USA vs Japan - 19:06
Race 7: France vs GBR - 19:35

Round Robin 2 - Thursday 1 June
No racing

The UK TV timing for BT Sport, Freeview BT Sport Showcase HD channel 115 and on Virgin channel 548 from 18:00-20:00 hrs UK time.