12 Jun 2016

Japan benefit from light winds in Chicago

2:23 pm on 12 June 2016

SoftBank Team Japan earned a surprise bonus today when the 'Windy City' did not live up to its famed moniker on the opening day of the Chicago stop for the America's Cup World Series.

The six-team event spread over two days sees the 45-foot twin-hulled sailboats, known as AC45Fs go head to head.

With winds too light for racing to start on time on Lake Michigan officials decided to take the substitute race from Friday to count on the leaderboard.

That race was won by Team Japan, and gave the team a measure of justice as they had also won the substitute race at the previous stop in New York, although that result did not score officially.

"It's a shame we couldn't get racing started on time today, but it's nice to turn the good work from Friday into a win on the scoreboard today," Team Japan skipper Dean Barker said after he and his crew earned their first ACWS victory.

"We've been working hard to improve our performance ... Friday was a good day and we take a lot of confidence from that."

Sweden's entry Artemis Racing finished second, Groupama Team France placed third and Team New Zealand fourth in Friday's substitute race while Oracle Team USA came in last after their sailboat capsized.

Weather conditions eventually improved Saturday afternoon local time and a substitute race for Sunday was held.

Team New Zealand, the series leaders, finished ahead of Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing in that substitute race, which will score as official should the wind again not be suitable for racing tomorrow.

However, "excellent" conditions have been forecast for the final day of the Chicago stop in the qualifying series for the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

Races in the ACWS have already been held in Portsmouth, England, Gothenburg, Sweden, Bermuda, Oman and New York, and will move to Toulon, France and Fukuoka, Japan.