Team Origin fight back in Louis Vuitton Trophy

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The Independent Online

At last Britain's America's Cup challenger Team Origin stopped the rot of two opening defeats in the Louis Vuitton Trophy series in La Maddalena, Sardinia.

Skipper Ben Ainslie harried the Australian still glowing in the warmth of winning the America's Cup in Valencia, Jimmy Spithill, in the pre-start jockeying, forcing a penalty error on the BMW Oracle helmsman.

After that it was plain sailing for the man who has four Olympic medals to his name, one silver and three gold, aided and abetted by the current Star class gold medallists, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson.

But life was made much more difficult in the second race of the day against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Ainslie has a lot of experience jousting with TNZ's Dean Barker after spending time as tune-up and trial horse helmsman for the Kiwi team. It was Barker who had the best of the encounter, leading from start to finish, but winning by the relatively narrow margin of 15 seconds. That still leaves an unhappy 1 – 3 scoreline for Britain in what are expected to be continuing tricky conditions.

In Langenargen, the wind refused to blow and the Match Race Germany title went, by default, to the reigning champion of the World Match Race Tour, Adam Minoprio of New Zealand.