29 Feb 2016

Team NZ hold onto lead with third place finish

5:31 am on 29 February 2016
Team New Zealand sailing in Bermuda 2015.

Team New Zealand. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic sailor in history, led his British team to victory in Oman, beating his former skipper, Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA by two points, with the winning margin secured on a late charge in the final race.

Team New Zealand has had its lead over Oracle cut to just six points.

The New Zealanders finished fifth in the last race and skipper Glenn Ashby says the last race was a little bit disappointing for us, but to come away from any event still holding the overall lead is a good thing. At the end of the day that's what counts."

The leader at the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series will carry two bonus points forward into the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers in May 2017 in Bermuda. The second place team earns one bonus point.

A popular result on the last day came from Groupama Team France, who finished strongly with a second place finish followed by a victory. With New Zealander Adam Minoprio replacing the injured Franck Cammas on the helm this weekend, the team converted two strong start line performances into top finishes.

"We were pretty stoked on board. You could see the excitement on the guys faces," Minoprio said. "We didn't have the strongest start to the regatta but we're happy to have been improving through the weekend and finishing with a win."

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman marked the first America's Cup sailing in the Middle East and was a milestone event for the host, Oman Sail.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Final Leaderboard

Land Rover BAR - 8, 10, 10, 18, 14, 16 - 76 points

ORACLE TEAM USA - 9, 6, 9, 12, 20, 18 - 74 points

Emirates Team New Zealand - 10, 7, 5, 20, 16, 12 - 70 points

Groupama Team France - 5, 8, 7, 10, 18, 20 - 68 points

SoftBank Team Japan - 6, 9, 6, 16, 10, 14 - 61 points

Artemis Racing - 7, 5, 8, 14, 12, 10 - 56 points