Team Origin crash out of Louis Vuitton Trophy
Thursday 18 March 2010
Death came very suddenly for Britain's finest when a rueful Ben Ainslie admitted ashore: "That was a very good lesson in how not to run a boat race."
Britain's America's Cup challenger Team Origin went crashing out of the Louis Vuitton Trophy not because its path through to the semi-finals was blocked but because it took its foot off the neck of its Swedish opponents.
A daring move at the start had given Ainslie and tactician Iain Percy a chance to snatch a lead over Swedish opponents Artemis, with two Americans at the back, Paul Cayard and Terry Hutchinson.
As he squeezed across the nose of Artemis with no right of way, Ainslie was handed another boost when the umpires waved away a penalty appeal by Cayard.
On the first leg the British team played classic match racing to secure a lead at the top turning mark and sailed an immaculate downhill leg to start the second lap also in front and able to dictate terms.
But Ainslie and Percy relinquished control, let the Swedes go off on their own to prosper in a favourable wind on the right hand side of the track and when the two came together again it was Artemis which was ahead.
Despite a tear in the foot of the gennaker, Cayard and Hutchinson hung on and, as what had been scheduled as a best of three had been curtailed to a sudden death, it was curtains for the Brits.
"we made the wrong decision at the wrong time and it cost us dearly," said Ainslie. "We misread the situation in terms of everything at the worst possible moment. It was a bit of a kick in the teeth for the whole team."
The reborn Azzurra team from Costa Smeralda also knocked out the Franco-German All4One in the other qualifier, so the table-topping Emirates Team New Zealand immediately chose them as their best of three semi-final opponents, Artemis facing the other Italians, Mascalzone Latino.
For Team Origin there is the prospect of a first sail in the brand new TP52 in which they will contest the Audi MedCup series, starting in Cascais in May.
Podcast: Stuart Alexander talks to Ben Ainslie:
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils