Ainslie steers Origin to victory over locals

The understudy took centre stage in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour yesterday as Ben Ainslie steered Britain's America's Cup challenger Origin to a near-flawless victory over the local Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Pacific series.

The triple gold and Olympic silver medallist had spent two years steering the tune-up boat for ETNZ as its skipper Dean Barker prepared to try and win back the trophy he had lost in 2003 and made it all the way through the challenger elimination series to meet a still dominant Alinhgi team from Switzerland defending the Cup in Valencia.

Yesterday, after being beaten by a tight but comfortable six seconds, Barker paid tribute to Ainslie and his crew saying: "They have been sailing really well. They are one of the stronger teams and in a position to get through to the challenger finals." "We are sailing a lot better this week," said team director Mike Sanderson afterwards.

"If I would give us only four out of 10 for our unbeaten four wins last week, I would give us six out of 10 this week even though we have scored only half a point and lost two races."

Already through to one of the places in that final later this week is the Alinghi team which so enraged the New Zealand public by refusing to race against ETNZ on Saturday. Alinghi beat its former skipper, Russell Coutts, now at the helm of Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle.

Oracle will race against ETNZ today knowing, as Ainslie did, that it cannot win points against a team that is assured of a place in the overall final of the LVPS at the weekend.

But Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth was unrepentant about dipping the encounter saying that it was just the best move for his team.

He said that the fuss was all a "storm in a teacup" and accused ETNZ skipper Barker of being a "sook", a crybaby.

Samantha Davies slipped to fourth place on the water in the Vendée Globe solo round the world race as she was overtaken by Marc Guillemot, whose tactic of taking a more westerly route around the Azores high pressure zone paid off and given him a 100-mile jump.

He has less than 1,300 miles to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne. Brian Thompson is fifth and Dee Caffari sixth. The Volvo round the world race inshore race in Qingdao was called off for the second day due to fog and light winds. A third attempt will be made tomorrow (Monday).

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower