The first day of competition at the America’s Cup World Series in Naples turned out to be a good start for the J.P.Morgan BAR team. They won their quarterfinal match race against Energy Team, followed by a third and a first in the first two fleet races of the Series. Their consistent form has put the team on top of the leaderboard.
The breeze arrived in time for racing in the Gulf of Naples, but conditions proved tricky and inconsistent, small mistakes were punished on the race-course. No teams seemed to survive unscathed including J.P.Morgan BAR who struggled at the start of their match race against the French Energy Team.
'The wind was changing all through the start of the match race it made it very, very difficult, and we just got it completely wrong. Yann Guichard and the Energy Team did really well especially in those kind of conditions when the wind is changing around so much, but the race was never really over, we got once chance to make a break and we took it, luckily it went our way so we were a little bit fortunate with that one,' explained skipper Ben Ainslie.
However the team sailed consistently in the day’s two opening races, to sit on top of the leaderboard after day one. 'It was a good day for us in difficult conditions, we rode our luck a little bit at times certainly in the match race. The boys did a great job of staying calm and dealt with the conditions really well picking our way through on the shifts where we needed to. We won the match race and had a first and a third in the two fleet races so we’re happy for the first day, but there is a long way to go and we need to keep working on our performance for the next few days.' added Ainslie
Supporting the team today was a special visitor; the British Ambassador to Italy Christopher Prentice CMG joined the team for their first day of racing in Naples and stepped onboard as a guest racer during the first fleet race of the day.
'The wind was fickle today, I loved being here in Naples I had a great experience sailing with the J.P.Morgan BAR team. These boats are amazing to watch and even more so to sail on, I was very excited to race with the team onboard and it is great that they are leading after day one.'
Racing for J.P.Morgan BAR starts at 1450 with the first fleet race tomorrow.
Day 1 Naples – Overall standings after two fleet races
1 J.P. Morgan BAR – 21 Pts 2 Emirates Team NZ – 20 Pts 3 Luna Rossa Piranha – 18pts 4 Oracle Team USA Slingsby – 16pts 5 Energy Team – 14 Pts 6 Luna Rossa Swordfish – 14 Pts 7 Artemis White – 11pts 8 China Team – 7pts 9 HS Racing – 7 by Lucy Harwood – Ben Ainslie Racing