Sir Ben Ainslie’s team win America’s Cup World Series with Fukuoka tie-break victory

Land Rover BAR

Ainslie’s crew were fourth, second and third on the final day of racing

Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team won the America’s Cup World Series with a narrow Fukuoka regatta victory.

The team, bidding to become the first British crew to win the America’s Cup, earn two points for the next phase, the qualifying series in May and June.

The winners of that will face Oracle Team USA in the main event, the 2017 America’s Cup later in June.

Ainslie’s team won after a tie-break in the regatta in Japan by virtue of a better result in the last race.

Land Rover BAR finished the series with 512 points, 19 ahead of Oracle Team USA, the two-time defending America’s Cup champions, in second place.

Emirates Team New Zealand, who lost an 8-1 lead to Oracle in the 2013 America’s Cup, finished third overall with 493 points.

Ainslie, part of that winning Oracle team three years ago, told the BBC: “It’s a massive day for us, proving we can win at the top end. It’s a big step towards the America’s Cup next year in Bermuda.

“We are under no illusions over just how tough it is. We hope to have the fastest boat next year.”

Land Rover BAR held a one-point advantage after the first day of the Fukuoka regatta but Artemis Racing of Sweden won the first two races on Sunday.

Ainslie’s crew needed to finish ahead of the Swedes in the last race of the day to clinch the title and came in third, with Artemis one place further back.

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