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Land Rover BAR are Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champions

Land Rover BAR Academy crowned 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champions after a nail biting final race.

Red Bull Youth America's Cup squad:

Skipper, Rob Bunce
Helm, Chris Taylor
Strategist, Annabel Vose
Main Trimmer, Elliot Hanson
Jib Trimmer, Sam Batten
Bow, Neil Hunter
Substitute, Adam Kay

NZL Sailing Team looked to have clinched the title with a third consecutive race win until a dramatic final mark melee, ultimately resulted in Land Rover BAR Academy going from fifth to second, to snatch the crown from the Kiwis.

With three more races scheduled for Wednesday, and a maximum of 30 points still on offer, all of the eight nations, including local heroes TeamBDA, remained in contention of being crowned the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals champions.

Day two of the Finals started in perfect fashion for defending champions NZL Sailing Team, as they claimed a comfortable victory in Race Four of the showpiece final.

Land Rover BAR recovered brilliantly from a pre-start penalty to finish fourth ahead of Switzerland’s Team Tilt, Team France Jeune, Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR and SVB Team Germany.

Building on that momentum of victory in the day’s first race, NZL Sailing Team clinched a second successive win in Race 5, holding off the challenge of the much improved SVB Team Germany.

Rob Bunce’s Land Rover BAR Academy finished fifth, leaving it all down to the final race.

With NZL sitting top of the standings with a total of 48 points, all eyes turned to LR BAR Academy who had to finish in the top three to take the title.

Heading into the final mark in fifth-place and trailing behind SVB Team Germany, Artemis Youth Racing and Switzerland's Team Tilt, the British challenge looked all but extinguished.

That was until incredible scenes on the final leg changed everything however. Heading into the Gate in close quarters, Artemis Youth Racing and SVB Team Germany almost collided, resulting in the German team crashing into the mark itself and handing the British team a lifeline.

The scene that unfolded, saw Artemis Youth Racing handed a penalty and SVB Team Germany out of contention, leaving LR BAR Academy and Switzerland’s Team Tilt to battle it out for second place in the race.

To add to the drama, Sebastien Schneiter’s Swiss team were then handed a penalty themselves, allowing LR BAR to sail clearly into second place, which was enough to hand them the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Final overall standings

1. Land Rover BAR Academy (50pts)
2. NZL Sailing Team (48pts)
3. Team Tilt (SUI) (42pts)
4. Artemis Youth Racing (37pts)
5. Team France Jeune (35pts)
6. Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (34pts)
7. SVB Team Germany (33pts)
8. TeamBDA (33pts)

Land Rover BAR Academy Support team:
Rob Andrews
Andrew Walsh
Matt Adams
Jono Macbeth
Tim Carter

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