Extreme Sailing Series 2014: Ben Ainslie forced into emergency repairs after crash with Realteam as Morgan Larson closes on title

Ainslie's JP Morgan BAR entry suffered rudder damage in a collision with Swiss team Realteam

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The Independent Online

A fender-bender shunt sent Ben Ainslie scurrying, courtesy of a tow boat, for pit stop repairs to his rudders in the 12th race of the Extreme Sailing Series 2014 finale in Sydney.

He was back racing by race 16, the sixth of the day after the whole of the first day had been lost to southerly buster winds, but it made what will be the four-time Olympic gold medallist's final appearance in the 40-foot catamarans for a couple of years unlikely to land him a repeat of the third place he notched up last time out in Nice.

Perpetrator of the tailgate tangle was the Swiss boat Realteam, whose skipper, Jerome Clerc, had also been giving a hard time to the two frontrunners, fellow Swiss team Alinghi and defending champion TheWave, Muscat.

Morgan Larson, in charge of Alinghi on behalf of Ernesto Bertarelli, has only to keep his nose clean to close out Leigh McMillan and at the end of the day, with just Sunday remaining and double points on offer, Larson was on top.

The champagne is on ice.

Results after 18 races:

1 - Alinghi - 127

2 - Realteam - 125

3 - The Wave, Muscat - 120

4 - SAP Extreme Sailing Team - 103

5 - Red Bull - 100

6 - J.P. Morgan BAR - 91

7 - Oman Air - 87

8 - Team Russia - 83

9 - GAC Pindar - 79

10 - Groupama sailing team - 73