Congratulations to Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team for sealing an emphatic victory on their home water of Portsmouth in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series races at Portsmouth at the weekend.
Land Rover BAR started the weekend tied in second place with current America's Cup defenders Oracle Team USA. Two days of action packed racing on the Solent saw Land Rover BAR do the Portsmouth double and emerge as overall winners for a second time following their victory in July 2015. The result leaves their American rivals in third and take the lead on current leaders Emirates Team New Zealand to 367 points with two races to go.
Among the hundreds of thousands of supporters that turned out to cheer the British team on were The Duchess of Cambridge - Royal Patron to the team’s official charity, the 1851 Trust, accompanied by The Duke of Cambridge. Their Royal Highnesses watched the action from the water as Land Rover BAR thrilled the home crowds on the final day of racing.
The British summer finally arrived creating a perfect setting for both the Land Rover BAR sailors and spectators as the team raced their way into 1st place in an action packed weekend of sailing.
Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Team principal: “It’s brilliant for us as the home team to win again in front of our home crowd, all our supporters. It means a huge amount to us, we’re delighted and I think that for a new team to be leading the World Series now is a good indication of how far we’ve come, but there’s still a long way to go, a lot of hard work between now and the America’s Cup.
“It was a real team work day, these boats are really hard to handle on such a short course. The guys did an incredible job with the boat handling and that’s what really got us out of some of those tough situations.
“Full credit to the team and everyone back at the Camber at the base, we’ve got a hundred odd people there, designing and building boats and components for the Cup next year, and I think it’s a big moment for them as well to know that we can go out and win these events.”
The Duke and Duchess were on hand to present the awards and it was a fitting end to an amazing weekend of action for British fans in Portsmouth.
Said Sir Ben Ainslie: “For us to race in Portsmouth, in front of our home crowd with the weather playing its part and two cracking days of racing, as a home team to win in front of our home crowd is the best thing we could do.”
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was on the water on Friday to take in the preparation for the high-speed racing .
Prince Philip met the design and engineering team responsible for building the boat that will race for the America’s Cup in Bermuda 2017. The Duke, like The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, took to the water off Southsea to watch the racing and meet Sir Ben Ainslie and his sailing team as they battle to bring the Cup to Britain.
The Duke of Edinburgh's love of the sea was instilled at an early age when he joined the Royal Navy and went on to serve on various classes of vessel during World War Two. HRH then became a keen yachtsman and famously owned a Dragon Class Yacht called Bluebottle in which he was a regular and highly successful participant in the annual Cowes Week regatta on the Isle of Wight.
The Duke's affection for sailing is still strong and having been a long time member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and a former commodore – HRH now holds the position of Admiral. Last year HRH reviewed their 180 strong member fleet during their bicentenary celebrations.
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