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Lionheart Win First America’s Cup J Class Regatta

21st June 2017
The winning crew of Lionheart in Bermuda yesterday The winning crew of Lionheart in Bermuda yesterday Photo: J Class/Carlo Borlenghi

#AmericasCup - Second place in a dramatic, high-stakes final race was enough to clinch victory for Lionheart in the inaugural America’s Cup J Class Regatta in Bermuda yesterday (Tuesday 20 June).

Fresh off their win in last week’s Superyacht Regatta, the Dutch yacht’s crew — whose longtime tactician is Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking — add their prize 3D relief map of Bermuda handmade by Latitude Kinsale to a string of major titles since 2014.

Lionheart went into the final with a slim single-point lead, jockeying for position with title rivals Hanuman from the off after a flat start.

But when that yacht was penalised for breaking race rules on approach to the last buoy, Lionheart pounced — extending their series lead to three points as they kept Hanuman behind and overtook Topaz to finish just behind race winners Velsheda, whose own result put them in second overall.

“As soon as Bermuda was announced, we just said that’s the one we’d like to win,” said Bekking after the final. “As always, I think you have to have an aim. You have to have a goal as a team.

“Every regatta you win is a nice one but here this is the one, with the America’s Cup going on and a record fleet of seven J Class yachts, it has been magic.”

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