With practice cancelled on Friday due to light winds, the teams came into racing on Saturday with little opportunity to get a feel for the shifty local conditions in Toulon.
Skipper, Nathan Outteridge, was back at the helm after his Olympic success in Rio, and it would be easy to forgive him for looking a little rusty. However, the double Olympic medallist hit the ground running, making the perfect start with two victories and a third on Saturday.
“Saturday was a great day for us, starting well, or fighting our way through the fleet. I’m fortunate to have such a great crew, working seamlessly around me, it makes my life so much easier. The conditions were very light and patchy, and we did a good job with Christian, on when to fly the hull and when not to”, said Nathan Outteridge.
After such a great start, the pressure was on heading to Super Sunday. However, the team kept their composure to lead the fleet from start to finish in Race 4, claiming their third victory of the weekend, and extending their overall regatta lead. In Race 5, an OCS on the start dropped the team to the back of the fleet leaving them with plenty to do.
Nathan Outteridge continued, “Today we kicked things off nicely with a win, with the boys sailing really well all the way round. In the second two races we didn’t quite manage our timing perfectly, ending with OCSs in both starts. Again, it showed the quality of our crew to fight and get back up to third in the second race”.
The Swedish team held a lead of 8 points over Land Rover BAR heading into the final race, leading to an intense finale.
“The last race was all about keeping close to Land Rover BAR, so there was a bit of action on the first reach with a few penalties for everyone. It certainly made life interesting for us, and I’m sure for the spectators and everyone watching at home”, commented Team Manager and Tactician, Iain Percy.
The commentary team were quick to praise the way the crew were communicating all weekend.
“One of the biggest gains we’ve made this weekend, is cementing our communication onboard. Over the events we’ve had a bit of a tough time with our decision making processes, but Iain Percy was doing a great job this weekend of explaining what he was thinking and what our options were, as well as picking all the rights shifts. It’s just a pleasure to sail with him and the rest of the guys, we’re a very strong unit”, concluded Nathan Outteridge.
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon Leaderboard:
Position. Team (Race Finish Positions) – Total Points
- Artemis Racing (1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 5) – 76 points
- SoftBank Team Japan (5, 4, 5, 2, 4, 1) – 71 points
- Land Rover BAR (6, 6, 1, 3, 1, 4) – 70 points
- Groupama Team France (4, 3, 2, 6, 2, 3)– 68 points
- Emirates Team New Zealand (2, 2, 6, 5, 6, 2) – 63 points
- ORACLE TEAM USA (3, 5, 4, 4, 5, 6) – 57 points