The second half of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series kicked off in Cardiff Bay today, the only UK leg of the global racing circuit. J.P. Morgan BAR delivered their best day of the season so far, claiming two consecutive wins to leave them in first place on 70 points, eight points clear of second place SAP Extreme Sailing Series.
A record nine races were completed by the 11 Extreme 40 teams and the British entry did well to read the breeze on the start line, relishing Cardiff Bay’s tricky demands. A new venue for the majority of the team and for J.P. Morgan BAR Skipper, Ben Ainslie, it’s the first time he has raced on home waters since the 2012 Olympic Games.
Commenting on the home racing, 'It was a really physical day for our guys and we have been working very hard on the fitness recently and it is beginning to pay off.
Bleddyn Mon onboard JP Morgan BAR - © Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series
'We love racing in front of the home fans, we don’t often get the opportunity to race at home, and this is a great venue; so it is very special. It is a tricky course. You really need to get a good start with the shifty conditions.'
Extreme Sailing Series 2014, The Act 5 line up, from left to right: Paul Campbell-James, Matt Cornwell, Ben Ainslie, Bleddyn Mon, Nick Hutton - JP Morgan BAR - © Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series
'The goal is more of the same tomorrow and it is one day at a time. A lot happens during this series, it is very tight racing; all the teams are very strong so we just need to keep our heads down and keep working hard and to be in the mix for the final day.'
The teams used good tactical awareness to drag race from one side of the bay to the other, entertaining the spectators with the edge-of-the-seat racing. Trimmer Nick Hutton continued, 'It has been a great day for us today, things clicked and we felt it really came together.
'As Ben said, it is great to be here on home waters, I have never raced on Cardiff Bay before and it is exciting to be in the UK, competing in front of a local crowd.
'We are expecting similar racing for the rest of the week so hopefully there will be more of the same from us. We have had a bit of a battle in the series but we now feel like we have a good base.'
Racing continues tomorrow at 14:00 GMT. The racing will be streamed live, with commentary, on the JP Morgan BAR blog
from Saturday 23rd to Monday 25th.