Paving the Road toward Great Britain
Published on November 17th, 2016
After 34 races in eight different events in six different countries, there’s just one final round and six more races to go in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) on November 18 to 20 in Fukuoka, Japan.
There is much at stake in Japan as the overall winner of the ACWS will take two points into the next stage of the 35th America’s Cup, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. It’s the equivalent of two wins – a 20% bonus on the remaining available points in the double round robin, beginning in Bermuda on May 26, 2017. For a full description of the scoring format… click here.
British challenger Land Rover BAR hold a 14 point lead coming into the finale. “We have got a reasonable points gap, but we’re very much taking it like any other event,” reports Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Team Principal. “That approach has worked for us so far, and I think we need to keep that going. We’ll have the same preparation and the same focus and not consider the overall points until we get to the final couple of races on the Sunday.”
If Ainslie is to fulfill his goal of bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851, winning the ACWS will help them do it. But for the six teams, doing well in Japan will mean adapting to the conditions which look to be predominantly lighter winds. The Brits worst event during the 2015-16 series was in the heinous condition of New York City when they finished fifth.
The venue of Fukuoka is the most populous city on Kyushu Island, situated on the northern shore and famous for the ancient 17th-century Fukuoka Castle, Fukuoka Art Museum, its beaches, shopping and egg noodles!
Nations that start with A: On the heels of Land Rover BAR is defender Oracle Team USA and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. Between the Brits and Kiwis, they have won five of the eight events, with the U.S. team yet to finish first. If defense skipper Jimmy Spithill (AUS) is going to get his first victory, and possibly overcome the British overall lead, he will be doing so with crew members Tom Slingsby (AUS), Kyle Langford (AUS), Joey Newton (AUS), and either Louis Sinclair (ANT) or Sam Newton (AUS).
Field trip: The Land Rover BAR team witnessed Japanese sporting culture with a visit to the local Sumo Stables. Sumo is the most traditional sport in Japan and is one of the oldest sports in the world, dating back to AD 794.
Source: Land Rover BAR