Japan, November 20, 2016 – Seems like it was only yesterday that we were in Chicago cheering on Team Land Rover BAR on the American leg of their race tour. The team won their final regatta in Japan this weekend to take the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series title, putting them in a commanding position going into the America’s Cup Final next year in Bermuda.
Land Rover BAR will enter the America’s Cup Qualifiers, two points clear, giving them an early advantage for the first set of round-robin races starting on May 26th, 2017. “It was an amazing day for the team because our core goal was to win the overall series, that is what we came here to do. To achieve that and come out on top in the final event to get four regatta wins in the overall series, that is a huge achievement from a completely new team. Two and a half years ago we had absolutely nothing, so what we have achieved in building the team, the infrastructure, and this performance in the World Series is something we should all be incredibly proud of – but at the same time it’s just one step in our journey to the America’s Cup. Our objective was to get the two bonus points and we’ve got that, and now the focus is clearly on the race boat and the performance next summer in Bermuda,” Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper.
“I am absolutely delighted by how things have gone, but at the same time I know our team and how focused they are on the America’s Cup. We will be straight into training in Bermuda and getting best prepared for the America’s Cup to try and bring it home after a 167 years of hurt. It’s a fantastic result for the team and we are very proud to have been with them on this journey so far – taking this World Series win is such a huge achievement. The next steps are still to come as the design team and our Land Rover engineers finalise the race boat codenamed R1 which will be launched early next year. It’s an extremely exciting and intense project and the countdown is now on for us to make our boat a winner in Bermuda,” Mark Cameron, Land Rover Experiential Marketing Director.
The Land Rover BAR team also got to grips with traditional Japanese sporting culture by working with a stable of Sumo wrestlers. They visited the Kokonoe Beya Sumo Stable to experience one of the oldest sports in the world, which dates back to AD 794. The sailing team joined the wrestlers’ morning warm-up session and took part in one-on-one bouts.
“It was a real honour to be invited into the Sumo Stable here today in Fukuoka to meet the athletes as they prepare for the tournament. I did not appreciate just how strong these guys are: it’s like running head-on into a brick wall. The two sports are complete extremes, but the mental preparation and focus is very similar. It was a unique and unforgettable experience to be allowed inside the inner sanctum of the sport,” Giles Scott, Tactician, Land Rover BAR.
The 35th Louis Vuitton America’s Cup, hosted in Bermuda, starts on May 26th and continues until the final starting on June 17th.
Japan America’s Cup World Series weekend results:
- Land Rover BAR – 75
- Artemis Racing – 75
- ORACLE TEAM USA – 70
- Emirates Team New Zealand – 65
- SoftBank Team Japan – 61
- Groupama Team France – 59
Overall leader board results:
- Land Rover BAR – 512
- ORACLE TEAM USA – 493
- Emirates Team New Zealand – 485
- Artemis Racing – 466
- SoftBank Team Japan – 460
- Groupama Team France – 419
Photos: Lloyd Images