Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill fires shots at Team New Zealand

"Yes, this event has meant a lot of firsts for Bermuda and it has required business to be done in new and innovative ways, it has meant some changes from the norm and we have relied on many organisations and individuals being engaged and proactive in the process; these are the things that have led us to where we are this weekend, a moment for Bermuda to celebrate". Aside from Ainslie's miscalculation on race two, Land Rover BAR's newfound turn of speed suggests no one now should write off his chances of "bringing the Cup home".

Crews representing Britain, France, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden will over the next two-and-a-half weeks seek to win the right to challenge Team USA for the title in the America's Cup match starting June 17.

With Team NZ up against their former skipper in Japan's Dean Barker and BAR's Sir Ben Ainslie, the man responsible for damaging their boat during practice, there was plenty of intrigue heading into Monday's races on Bermuda's Great Sound. This series is going to be aggressive and brutal.

The qualifiers started the same way the 2013 America's Cup ended, with Oracle rallying to beat Team New Zealand.

But this smash was much more risky. You could see the vulnerable grinders of Land Rover BAR and SoftBank team jumping out of the way of the impact inches away from the where the two hulls crashed together.

Land Rover BAR bailing out to keep R1 afloat. "So I can be proud of our team, and where we have come from and the potential we have to move forwards, this is hugely positive for the team", he added. They soared through nearly every tack without touching down.

Land Rover BAR took the race from Artemis Racing.

It was the third collision for Ainslie this spring.

What has Land Rover BAR done to get that improvement - foils, controls, software for the controls...?

Having had less time on the Bermuda seas than the other competitors at this regatta, Team New Zealand will be a very daunting prospect of facing once they well and truly hit their stride.

Australia's Spithill became the youngest skipper to capture the America's Cup in 2010 and three years later in San Francisco lead Team USA's incredible comeback victory over Emirates Team New Zealand. The victor will meet Oracle in the first-to-seven America's Cup match starting June 17. Oracle got close, but Artemis played the shifts for a big win. That first race was won by the schooner America.

The team that really needs to worry is Groupama Team France, which seemed to struggle for control in the shifty land breeze.

The British entry team Land Rover BAR was conceived by four times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America's Cup victor, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the prestigious America's Cup trophy back home to where it all began in 1851.

"It was a strategic decision to set up here early and be the first team on the ground". They span the wind range, and some teams had fitted a light wind, low drag type; some bigger, more powerful foils.


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