31 Aug 2015

Team NZ on top in Sweden

6:35 am on 31 August 2015

Team New Zealand have won the America's Cup World Series event in Sweden after recording a second and first place finish in the regatta's final two races.

Emirates Team NZ in action.

Emirates Team NZ in action. Photo: Emirates Team NZ

Entering the final day in third place behind Oracle and the Ben Ainslie skippered Land Rover crew after two third place finishes in yesterday's opening races, the New Zealanders produced strong performances on the tight race course, in light and shifty conditions.

Team New Zealand led by skipper Glenn Ashby and helmsman Peter Burling showed no fear, posting a second and first place finish in the two double-point races.

"It was a tricky afternoon, but our guys had a forecast for it being light like this for quite a few days, so we've been preparing for it since we arrived," Burling said.

"We're really happy to put together two solid races today and to perform under pressure in that last one is very satisfying."

The leader from the first day, Oracle, came in to the day on the back of a perfect scoreline in the first two races.

But it was a different story on today's final day.

Two fourth place finishes dropped the defending champion of the America's Cup to second place.

"We're disappointed," said skipper Jimmy Spithill. "We were having a very difficult time speed-wise and with our technique in the lighter winds. We felt good when the breeze was up and we were on the foils. So we have to get back to work."

Land Rover won the first America's Cup World Series on home waters in Portsmouth.

Two second place finishes on day one had the team poised for another top finish, but a poor start in the last race put the team in third place for the Swedish stop.

"It's frustrating," admitted skipper Ben Ainslie. "But that's the nature of the sport. We're pleased to be on the podium."

"In these conditions you need to get a good start and we didn't do that. It's hard to work your way back after that. I thought the Kiwis sailed a brilliant second race and deserved to get the win."

Team Japan, skippered by New Zealand's Dean Barker was in fourth place, with a strong final race giving a boost to the team's confidence heading into the next event in Bermuda.

"The goal today was to get better starts and get around the first mark in good shape and we did that," said skipper Dean Barker. "It didn't translate into the results we wanted in the first race, but in the second race today, we nailed it.

"We also had a couple of good results in the practice races as well, so hopefully we carry that through to Bermuda."

America's Cup World Series Gothenburg, Sweden - Final Results

Team - Points

Emirates Team NZ - 54


Land Rover BAR - 46

SoftBank Team Japan - 43

Artemis Racing - 42

Groupama Team France 37

Overall standings - America's Cup World Series

(following the first two events):

Team - Points

Emirates Team New Zealand - 72

Land Rover BAR - 65


SoftBank Team Japan - 56

Artemis Racing - 53

Groupama Team France - 50