J.P. Morgan BAR takes to the French Riviera stage
It is just over two weeks since Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series – Istanbul, ended in frustration, but J.P. Morgan BAR are primed to come back fighting, taking on the next race track on the global circuit – Act 7, Nice – the penultimate event of the year.
Nice has forged a strong identity and been a firm favorite with the fleet since it was introduced in 2011. Just as with most of the other Extreme Sailing Series venues, the tight, compact course punishes even the smallest of mistakes. Add in the light conditions forecast, and the racing looks set to be as arduous as ever, demanding outstanding patience, skill and pin-point accuracy to maneuver the boats in the soft breeze.
The Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice - the capital of the Cote d’Azur (C) Lloyd images
The tension across the 11 strong Extreme 40 fleet built in Istanbul, all the teams pushed hard, and with the British entry in fifth place overall, a solid result is important for the team. Trimmer, Nick Hutton commented, "Istanbul was the ultimate physical challenge and naturally we were disappointed with how the event finished for us.
“But, we have been addressing what worked and what didn’t so we can move things forward, ready to come back fighting in Nice. It’s the second to last event in the Series, there’s not much time left to get the points in the bag and we want to deliver – it’s a great venue and we are looking forward to some solid racing.”
The racing in Istanbul tested the whole fleet (C) Lloyd images
Paul Campbell-James – like Hutton, a previous Extreme Sailing Series Champion – returns to the line-up as team tactician, and continued; “Nice is notoriously quite light in the mornings, which always makes for tricky racing. When it’s light there’s not a huge change tactically, Ben makes the calls and I try and keep the boat moving fast, but you have a bit more time to look around and make better judgements.
“My last event with the team was a month ago in Cardiff, we finished the last race of the event just missing out on the lead, so we know we can do it and we’ve got a good platform to work from. The aim is to finish the series within the top half of the fleet.”
The Cardiff line up returns - Campbell-James, Cornwell, Ainslie, Mon and Hutton
Racing starts in the capital of the Cote d’Azur, where the fleet will race on the Baie des Anges, on Thursday 2nd up until Sunday 5th October. Nice is the final European stop of the global circuit before the 2014 series concludes in the Southern Hemisphere in December.
The racing in France will be streamed live, with commentary, on www.jpmorganbarblog.com from Friday to Sunday. The action will also be broadcast live on Canal + sport.
Full J.P. Morgan BAR Act 7, Nice, Team list:
Skipper – Ben Ainslie
Tactician – Paul Campbell-James
Bowman – Matt Cornwell
Trimmer – Nick Hutton
Fifth Man – Bleddyn Mon
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 55 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 54 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 43 points.
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 36 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 29 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 24 points.
7th Oman Air (OMA) 23 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 23 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 23 points.
10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 20 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 6 points.
Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was conceived in 2011 by four times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851.
Ben will develop and lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.
At the start of 2014 the team also turned their focus to the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) competing in a 40-foot catamaran on the international circuit. The team is backed in their Extreme Sailing Series campaign by J.P. Morgan.
11TH HOUR RACING, INC. (Sustainability Partner)
11th Hour Racing Incorporated was developed to create a new model of sailing sponsorship for winning teams powered by sustainable practices that support the health of our oceans. 11th Hour Racing aims to increase our understanding of the oceans, find solutions to the problems that damage or destroy our marine resources, and promote stewardship and sustainable use of the seas that sustain life on our planet.
Official J.P. Morgan BAR Extreme Sailing Series Suppliers
Henri Lloyd (Technical clothing supplier); http://www.henrilloyd.com/
Scorpion Ribs (Support boats); http://www.scorpionribs.com
SOS Rehydrate (Medical drinks); http://sosrehydrate.com