Day 3 – BAR takes a loss to France

LandroverBAR’s poor performances continued on Day 3 when, after taking the start, BAR lost the race to Groupama by 53 seconds after a poor rounding at Gate 3.

It seems BAR made another poor rounding at Gate 3, allowing the French Groupama to take a lead she was never to lose. French Skipper Franck Cammas was, of course, overjoyed, commenting: “It was another very good result for us and to beat the British is always good for the French.”

The only bright spot on the day for BAR was that Groupama went on to lose to SoftBank Team Japan in their second race.

BAR had only the one race on day 3, so had to reflect on the boat’s performance, which has seemed to be off the pace since the start of the 35th America’s Cup.

“It was a very frustrating race but credit to France, they had better speed than us and took the win,” said British helmsman Ben Ainslie. “We will have to go away in the coming days and make some big improvements.”

“We are all working hard and are reasonably happy, but we have to keep improving and focus on getting up to speed.”

Ben’s boat seems to have always been on the slow side, but let’s hope the team can get some improvements. There’s a long way to go, but – apart from Oracle Team USA’s obvious advantage over the fleet – I’m sure the BAR boys will improve.

Next up after BAR and Groupama were Artemis and ETNZ. This match was a good one, with both  boats seeming to be well matched.

The Swedes took the start, but were then penalised two boats lengths for an early start. The Swedes then caught up with ETNZ again and the pair had what has been described as a great match, with the lead changing constantly.

Then, at the finish line, the judges called a penalty against Artemis for not leaving ETNZ enough room. That penalty gave ETNZ the win, but the Artemis skipper, Nathan Outteridge, insists they gave ETNZ all the room they needed.

But, by the time the judgement was called, Artemis was at the finish line and had no place to go…

“As soon as I saw the light I knew what had happened and we were already at the line by the time the decision was made,” said Outteridge. “We all thought we gave them enough room and I still stand by that opinion.”

ETNZ’s helmsman obviously agreed with the judges. “We thought it was definitely a penalty and, at the end of the day, it comes down to the umpires to make the decision. We were just happy to stay upright and even more happy to take the point.

“For us our first goal was to get through the qualifying series and, bar one defeat, it has gone as good as it could have done so far.”

Unfortunatley for the Artemis crew, the judges later admitted that their decision, on reflection, may have been different. They even went on to say they wouldn’t have penalised Artemis. See the video below…

But, by then, it was too late for the Artemis crew to get the result changed.

How can such a mess be allowed in a competition such as the 35th America’s Cup? Simply having one of the judges saying “we would have greened that call” is just appalling at this level of competition.

You can’t have the ACRM simply saying “it is a field of play decision and the decision of the umpire stands”. W|ill we see legal action against the ACRM? I hope so, because this decision makes non sense.

I can only offer Iain Percy and his boys our complete commiserations on what should never have happened at this level of racing. This makes the America’s Cup organisers look very, very stupid.

The second round robin begins today in Bermuda at 02:08 pm (local time) with three matches scheduled: NZL vs SWE, FRA vs USA, and SWE vs GBR. Winds are forecasted to veer more westerly with the best breeze expected in the morning, and easing to eight – 12 knots by midday.

According to this morning’s Scuttlebutt USA, Land Rover BAR still has some padding in terms of points from the ACWS, so the points tally right now is:

Oracle Team USA 4-1 – 5pt (1pt from ACWS)
Emirates Team New Zealand 4-1 – 4pt
LandroverBAR 1-4 – 3pt (2pt from ACWS)
Artemis Racing 2-3 – 2pt
SoftBank Team Japan – 2-3 – 2pt
Groupama Team France 2-3 – 2pt

LandroverBAR remains in 3rd place overall because of her results in the America’s Cup World Series. But Sir Ben Ainslie and his team really have to pull some rabbits out of the hat to stay in the 35th America’s Cup…

Comments are closed.