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Ainslie heads to California for TP52 Racing

Ben Ainslie and the Land Rover BAR team will be heading for Southern California next week to compete in the SCYA Midwinters opening on 10 - 11 February in San Diego.

Scott - Ainslie - Langley - Click image for a larger image

Ainslie announced back last October that he would lead his AC team aboard Langley Holdings’ Gladiator TP52 in the 52 SUPER SERIES 2018 monohull race series.

Unfortunately, the team have just missed a training period due to bad weather in the UK.

But, as Ainslie explains, the foundations of their pre-season prep will be warm-weather racing and training at San Diego Yacht club on Langley’s US-based TP52, one of three that the British businessman owns and campaigns.

The PAC52 Midwinters series kicks off with nine teams racing out of the San Diego YC in Southern California. The Land Rover BAR Galdiator team will spend the week training on the race course ahead of the weekend's racing.

Ben Ainslie and Tony Langley will lead the team with Langley at the helm, with a Land Rover BAR crew of:

Giles Scott, David Carr (grinder), Matt Cornwell (bow), Nick Hutton (mid-bow), and Andy McLean (navigator) from the AC35 crew.

Geoff Povey will return as grinder from last season's Gladiator crew, alongside Andrew Escourt (main) and Tom Wilson (pit); with Jono Swain (downwind trim) and two times America's Cup winner Joey Newton (trim) joining the team for the circuit.

Click image for a larger image

The reality, though, is that it will not be until Sibenik, Croatia in late May before Ainslie and crew will actually line up against another 52 SUPER SERIES team in full race mode.

Ben Ainslie - “From what I have seen, the boat is good. It performed especially well upwind last season and we have been working very hard with North Sails and Southern Spars to upgrade the rig and sails."

"The rig – we are looking to improve the stiffness and aerodynamics. This is a great opportunity for our technical sailors and engineers to get their teeth into the project and to build improvements."

"We are looking to see what the new hulls will be like, and the new boats generally. We are always trying to learn what we can, what the word on the street is, and what the developments are generally, but winning this circuit will be about being consistent. It is going to be a fascinating season.”

Nico MartinezTony Langley on Gladiator - Click image for a larger image

As for sailing as tactician with owner Langley driving, Ainslie is highly motivated to carry on the good work done by Ed Baird.

“What I have learned from doing this before [sailing with an owner driving], is that success is down to really good communication, and it is critical to manage our expectations."

"At the end of the day, Tony has to be happy, and we have the right support in the team around us to make sure that happens.”

With the start of the 52 Super Series season championship at the Palma Vela regatta on May 4-6, the USA Midwinters will serve as a pre-season warm up event.

Land Rover BAR Gladiator will return to San Diego for the NOOD Regatta on the 16 - 18 March before going on to race in the 52 Super Series - the leading high performance monohull racing circuit.

The opener for BAR Gladiator in the 52 Super Series will be the 23 - 27 May in Sibenik, Croatia.

They will then compete at 52 Super Series events in:
June 20 - 24, Zadar, Croatia
July 17 - 21, Cascais, Portugal
August 21 - 25, Mallorca, Spain
September 18 - 22, Valencia, Spain

While two events in the UK, the Round the Island Race (7 July) and Lendy Cowes Week (4 - 11 August) will offer the British team an opportunity to race on home waters.

The full details of the new America's Cup boats are expected to be unveiled on 31 March, and they will not be available to race in the 2018 season, thus the move to the TP52 boats.

The new 52 Super Series season promises the highest level of racing yet, bringing together the world’s top adversaries such as Sir Ben Ainslie, Robert Scheidt, Terry Hutchinson, Ed Baird, Jordi Calafat, John Kostecki, Francesco Bruni and Vasco Vascotto.

52superseries.com

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Gerald New - Sailweb
31 January 2018 10:53 GMT


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