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Six things Land Rover BAR must do to win America's Cup

Six things Land Rover BAR must do to win America's Cup

Crews representing Britain, France, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden are seeking to win the right to challenge Oracle Team USA for the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in global sport, in the crystal blue waters of Bermuda's Great Sound.

During the next 2 1/2 weeks, five challengers will vie for the right to face two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the first-to-seven America's Cup match starting June 17.

After the "love kiss" to Team New Zealand last week, Ben Ainslie banged his own boat up this time.

Land Rover BAR won the America's Cup World Series and they take two bonus points into the qualifying series in Bermuda. "There is a bonus point up for grabs and that's clearly worth fighting for", Spithill said yesterday (May 25) at a pre-regatta press conference.

Ainslie was penalized and SoftBank Team Japan, skippered by former Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, sailed off to a 48-second win.

After spending years designing and building their 50-foot (15 metre) foiling catamarans, all six crews competing for the 35th America's Cup were in action on Saturday and racing was as hotly contested as the sailors had predicted. There was visible damage to Land Rover BAR's port hull, which landed on top of SoftBank Team Japan's starboard hull during the collision.

Skippered by Australian Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA reached speeds of at least 42 knots as they left the French crew in their wake in their first race. In addition, fans will get to try out the experience in Bermuda, at the Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) base in Portsmouth, and at roadshow events around the UK.

If the victor of the qualifiers is Oracle or a challenger that advances to the match, that team will start the match with a one-point bonus.

The British looked strong in beating Artemis Racing by 11 seconds.

If they can't quickly fix their boat overnight, Team New Zealand may get a free pass for the scheduled meeting tomorrow. Rather than having grinders turn winches with traditional arm power, they installed four stationary bikes on each hull to have the grinders ride.

Tomorrow's opening day, pushed back for safety reasons after high winds were forecast for today, will showcase some changes from the 2013 event in San Francisco. We are adding an hour to the race window on both Saturday and Sunday to run extra races with the aim of getting back on schedule'.

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