After a great weekend of sailing in France, Artemis Racing win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series regatta in Toulon with finishes of a first, third and fifth on Sunday and two firsts and a third on Saturday. On the podium once again, SoftBank Team Japan takes second place and Land Rover BAR third.
The first day of racing with lighter winds was great for Groupama Team France and their hometown fans on the shore, though they crossed the line early in Race 1 and due to the penalty had to stay one boat length behind the last boat, which was ORACLE who were off to a terrible start and thus, far behind. Groupama took a fourth, third and second on Day One of racing and a sixth, second and third on Day Two. They must have been pleased.
Big wind shifts on Day One forced teams to focus on tactics not speed. Winds got lighter as the day moved on but did pick up in Race 3. Day Two races started with very light winds also, and periodic puffs of wind had huge effects. First places were shared between Artemis Racing, Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan, Race 4, 5 and 6 respectively. The great thing is that Sunday’s races double the points from those of Saturday, with 1st place garnering 20 points, 2nd 18 points, and so on. With Race 6, every team seemed to choose a different strategic direction, closely watching each other to see who was catching the breeze and where.
Ben Ainslie (BAR) summarized the Toulon two day regatta, “Ferocious races maybe mentally, but fluky conditions, for sure.” Despite taking two sixth places on Saturday, AC Challenger Land Rover BAR remains in the lead overall of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, 14 points ahead of AC Defender, ORACLE TEAM USA, with AC Challenger Emirates New Zealand in third place overall, trailing ORACLE by only three points. At the end of Portsmouth, ORACLE TEAM USA were only one point behind Land Rover BAR, and this weekend, missing their skipper and helmsman Jimmy Spithill due to an elbow injury, put them much further behind BAR and in last place overall in Toulon.
Overall LVACWS standings:
- Land Rover Bar 437
- ORACLE TEAM USA 423
- Emirates Team New Zealand 420
- Softbank Team Japan 399
- Artemis Racing 391
- Groupama Team France 360
Watch highlights of the Toulon event.
Check all race results in the Louis Vuitton America Cup World Series. Next stop: Fukuoka, Japan. And with only one regatta left in the 2015-16 World Series, any mistakes made in Japan will have tremendous consequence.