Sir Ben Ainslie has hailed Land Rover BAR Academy’s triumph in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, saying “he could not be any prouder” of the team’s accomplishment.
The British team pipped defending champions New Zealand Sailing Team for the title by a two-point margin in a thrilling and hard-fought regatta that went to the wire.
“We could not be prouder of the Land Rover BAR Academy winning the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup,” said Ainslie, the skipper and team principal of America’s Cup challenger Land Rover BAR, said.
“All their hard work, commitment and dedication over the past 18 months has really come together on the water here in Bermuda. It is a strong fleet, but I have been really impressed by the team’s constant on-board communication, how they kept their cool under pressure and really delivered on the boat-handling during the tricky conditions.”
As well as winning the regatta, Land Rover BAR Academy also achieved history with Annabel Vose, the team strategist, becoming the first female sailor to compete at this level.
With only three points separating leaders Land Rover BAR Academy from Team New Zealand going into the final race, Vose backed her team to come through in the clutch.
“Going into the final race, we knew that New Zealand Sailing Team were our main opposition, so we just wanted to finish within the top three, which we had been doing most the of the day and throughout the regatta,” she said.
“We wanted to go in and have a simple start, keep it clean and race our own race.
“Although we didn’t have our best day, all the effort we’ve put in throughout the year just meant that we could pull together as a team and get the results that we needed to take the win. We are absolutely thrilled by the result.”
According to Jono Macbeth, the Land Rover BAR sailing team manager, there could potentially be even bigger things in store for the syndicate’s academy sailors.
“Land Rover BAR believe in investing and mentoring the next generation, and alongside our long-term aim to win the America’s Cup for Britain, we will continue to nurture home-grown talent to ensure a lasting legacy and sustainable future for young sailors,” Macbeth, a three-times America’s Cup winner, said.
“We had success promoting Neil Hunter from the junior to senior team and we can only look forward to more talented young sailors moving up and forward in their sailing careers with us.”