The America’s Cup World Series Naples was an event full of expectation for J.P.Morgan BAR, as the team headed into the finale. After a second place finish in San Francisco last October, the team came with a clear aim, to win the event. But it wasn’t to be. Another hard fought day on the water saw the team finish fifth in Super Sunday’s bumper points fleet race, not enough to podium at the event, but it was enough to place them third overall in the 2012-13 three event series.
Skipper Ben Ainslie reflected on the final race today, 'To win the event we really needed to win the race today, unfortunately it didn’t happen for us. We struggled in the middle of the fleet. The conditions were difficult today but it was the same for everyone and we just weren’t able to quite get it right which is a shame and it’s frustrating for the team. But that’s sports, that’s life and you have to learn what you can from it and move forwards. I think we had more potential than where we finished, so we know we have to work harder next time round to get ourselves to the top of the fleet at the next event.'
Today’s fleet race was do or die, the overall event title was up for grabs with the top five teams all in contention to walk away with the trophy. The start once again proved to be a deal breaker, Matt Mitchell talked through the start and race for J.P.Morgan BAR, 'We thought we had the right end of the start line, but it wasn’t to be. It’s been the story of the last few days, the starts have not been clicking for us, you try to pick your way through the fleet, but again you get dictated into your lanes and it limits how far you can get back up through the fleet.'
After rounding the first gate, J.P.Morgan BAR found themselves buried in the middle of the pack, but the crew didn’t give up constantly searching for opportunities to pull back places.
For the boats at the front when it’s going well it racing looks easy, but on a day like today for the majority of the fleet it was a battle as Mitchell explained, 'Having found ourselves once again with a deficit on the leaders you just have to keep blazing away and working hard until the end, We kept working away all the way to the end. We missed out on a few things and we know that small mistakes are pretty costly in this event and that was the difference today.'
The tricky conditions saw the lead change hands throughout the seven lap course. Oracle Team USA, Team Energy, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Swordfish all threatened to take line honours, but it was Francesco Bruni onboard Luna Rossa Swordfish that finally secured a win, taking the lead on the final downwind leg, in front of adoring home crowds that lined the shoreline in Naples.
Four time America’s Cup winner J.P.Morgan BAR headsail trimmer Simon Daubney has enjoyed the experience with the team.
'Sailing at these events with Ben has been great. We have a great bunch of guys and we’ve fought hard at every regatta. It’s good sailing with him, it was hard at the first event, he came straight from the Games so it was a big learning curve for all of us, but we sailed really well in the second event and we were really pleased with the result last October. Conditions were very different here and it didn’t go as we hoped that it would, but we’re still friends and we will live to fight another day.'
For the crew onboard J.P.Morgan BAR it’s the end of competition for this year, as the sailors prepare to shift attention back to the America’s Cup finals in San Francisco this summer. 'It’s a little bit sad of J.PMorgan BAR today. It’s been a pretty cool thing we’ve had going on, we have a good boat and good bunch of boys to sail with. We have shown great promise at times, and the overall experience over the series has been awesome,' Matt Mitchell.
'We would have love to have done a lot better in this event, but it shows a lot of promise and lot to build on for the future,' concluded Ainslie.
Super Sunday Fleet Race Results
1st Luna Rossa Swordfish – 40pts
2nd Oracle Team USA Slingsby – 25pts
3rd Luna Rossa Piranha – 20pts
4th Energy Team – 16pts
5th J.P. Morgan Bar – 13pts
6th Emirates Team NZ – 11pts
7th HS Racing – 10pts
8th Artemis Racing White – 9pts
9th China Team – 8pts
Overall Match Racing Results
1st Oracle Team USA Slingsby
2nd Luna Rossa Swordfish
3rd J.P. Morgan Bar
4th Luna Rossa Piranha
5th Emirates Team NZ
6th Artemis Racing White
7th Energy Team
8th HS Racing
9th China Team
Overall Results For The America’s Cup World Series Naples
(After Seven Races)
1st Luna Rossa Swordfish – 80pts
2nd Oracle Team USA Slingsby – 80pts
3rd Emirates Team NZ – 71pts
4th Luna Rossa Piranha – 70pts
5th J.P. Morgan Bar – 65pts
6th Energy Team –58pts
7th Artemis Racing White – 40pts
8th HS Racing – 36pts
9th China Team – 30pts
Overall Results For The America’s Cup World Series
(After Three Events)
1st Oracle Team USA Slingsby – 245pts
2nd Luna Rossa Piranha – 191pts
3rd J.P. Morgan Bar – 181pts
4th Emirates Team NZ – 171pts
5th Energy Team – 160pts
6th Artemis Racing White – 160pts
7th Luna Rossa Swordfish -151pts
8th Team Korea – 105pts
9th Oracle Team USA Coutts – 98pts
10th Artemis Racing Red – 90pts
11th China Team – 73pts
12th HS Racing 36pts
America's Cup website by Lucy Harwood – Ben Ainslie Racing