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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor