The final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 in Cardiff Bay saw J.P Morgan BAR step up for their first podium finish of the season. The team took a third place overall away from a down-to-the-wire finish that could have seen any one of three boats take the win.
It started out as a good day to be building an Ark, with torrential rain and not much wind, but the breeze built and by the final race the teams had to reduce sail. It all came down to this final double-points race in the breeze, and the three boats contesting the podium places were Alinghi; The Wave, Muscat; and J.P. Morgan BAR.
Act 5 was settled at the first mark of that final race, when all three boats were involved in penalty incidents and as a result, ended up collectively tailing the fleet home. It worked to The Wave, Muscat’s advantage and they took the overall win with 210 points, Alinghi finished in second with 205 points, and then J.P. Morgan Bar with 203 points.
J.P. Morgan BAR’s skipper, Ben Ainslie was understandably pleased with the result. 'It has been a big improvement to see us on the podium. It has been great to challenge for the win today with the top teams – Alinghi and The Wave, Muscat. It has been a big step forwards and hopefully we can continue this for the rest of the series.'
Extreme Sailing Series 2014, Act 5 - © Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series
Ainslie was also happy about the changes to the crew that had been made for the Cardiff Act. 'Sailing with Paul [Campbell-James] was fantastic, he has taught us a lot about these boats and Bleddyn [Mon] was a great addition, he really worked incredibly hard. We are looking forward to sailing with Paul Goodison in Istanbul and as we develop further in the Series.'
Wales very own Bleddyn Mon, was understandably delighted, 'It was great to be a part of the team, it has been a fantastic vibe. Being on the podium this weekend is a great step forward for the future.'
There was a bonus for the J.P. Morgan BAR shore team, who won the Land Rover 'Above and Beyond Award' which recognises 'outstanding determination, skill, teamwork and composure reflecting inspirational behaviour in the world of sailing'. It was awarded to J.P. Morgan BAR and the Oman Sail shore crew for the support they provided to Emirates Team New Zealand when they lost their rudder on day two, after SAP Extreme Sailing team ran into the back of them. Jono Macbeth, Richy O’Farrell and Ian Mccabe accepted the award on behalf of the J.P. Morgan BAR team.
The next Extreme Sailing Series event will be in Istanbul, Turkey from the 11th to 14th September. JP Morgan BAR blog