30 Aug 2015

Team NZ third in opening races

7:50 am on 30 August 2015

Team New Zealand have finished third in the two races on the first day of sailing at the latest America's Cup World Series event in Sweden.

Team New Zealand sailing at the America's Cup World Series.

Team New Zealand sailing at the America's Cup World Series. Photo: Photosport

Oracle USA won both races.

Land Rover, skippered by Britain's Ben Ainslie, finished second in both races.

With the two ending with the same teams in the same top three positions, there isn't much separation on the leaderboard.

"This was almost like a warm-up," said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill.

"It's all about tomorrow when the points are doubled - Super Sunday. But that being said, I'd rather be in our position. We're sailing well, we're confident, and we'll be ready to go."

His closest pursuer said quick starts allowed the winner to separate from the herd in both races and that was the difference.

"Oracle really sailed well, had great starts and it fell into place for them," said Land Rover skipper Ben Ainslie. "We kind of had to fight a little bit but I was really pleased with how the guys battled today."

Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby called it a good day's work, but he'll be disappointed with the second race when Ben Ainslie slid past just meters from the finish line to steal second place.

"It was a tough one," Ashby admitted. "We made a call not to use the Code Zero sail (a big downwind sail used in lighter winds)."

"It was only the last couple minutes of the race where it would have paid off. But they had it up just when we sailed into the lighter pressure and they just pipped us at the end."

"But the race was fantastic and you could have thrown a blanket over both boats and had trouble picking who was going to get there."

It was a difficult day for the hometown Artemis Racing who had a mid-fleet finish in the first race before going aground after the finish and damaging their foils.

The team was able to sail the second race, but at reduced efficiency.

Results after Day One of racing:

Team - Points


Land Rover BAR - 18

Emirates Team New Zealand - 16

SoftBank Team Japan - 13

Artemis Racing - 12

Groupama Team France - 11

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series

Overall results:

Land Rover BAR - 37


Emirates Team New Zealand - 34

SoftBank Team Japan - 26

Groupama Team France - 24

Artemis Racing - 23