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Displaying items by tag: Land Rover BAR

#AmericasCup - The Mercedes Formula 1 Team’s former chief executive has spoken of his pride in Sir Ben Ainslie and crew’s performance in the America’s Cup amid criticism of their failure to reach the big race in Bermuda.

Land Rover BAR’s quest came to an early end on Thursday 8 June when Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the five wins they needed to progress to the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals, as previously reported on

But Nick Fry — who worked with Martin Whitmarsh in the F1 paddock for many years when the current Land Rover BAR chief headed McLaren — says Sir Ben’s efforts should be praised considering the odds against him and his team.

“We are lucky in having a sportsman like Ainslie so focused and driven as a great example to those young people who are scared to even try to succeed because they are handicapped by their own fear of failure,” he writes in a letter to Scuttlebutt Europe.

Fry says comparisons to the likes of his own former Brawn GP team, which won its first and only F1 title in 2009 before it became Mercedes, did not come out of nowhere.

“We had been competing in Formula 1 in different incarnations for years,” he writes of the team that evolved from Honda, and BAR before that. “Challengers in top level sport rarely if ever win the World Championship at their first attempt.”

Fry adds: “It is unfortunate that the PR and the media had buoyed the hopes of the public without properly informing everyone of the Herculean task BAR had before them.”

The America’s Cup match continued in Bermuda yesterday (Saturday 24 June), with champions Oracle Team USA — who won the Auld Muwith Sir Ben at the helm in 2013 — taking their first win against a strong Emirates Team New Zealand who lead the series 4-1.

Published in America's Cup

#AmericasCup - Emirates Team New Zealand suffered a high-speed pitch-pole just moments after the start of their America’s Cup play-off semi-final with Land Rover BAR on Tuesday (6 June), as previously reported on

But how did such a disastrous mistake happen? Land Rover BAR’s chief technology officer Andy Claughton shares his thoughts with Yachting World’s Elaine Bunting, suggesting a split-second error in assigning the NZ team’s daggerboard controls to the ‘cyclors’ that power its hydraulic systems, rather than the helmsman.

While that strategy has given the team an edge over their competitors in terms of fine control of ride height in lighter conditions, Claughton says the tradeoff was plain to see in their capsize in winds just below the 24 knots average limit.

Commenting more broadly on all sailors' performances in Bermuda over the week, Claughton also questions the “high-stakes dice rolling” format of concentrated short-course racing, which presents “a danger that you don’t give enough time for the cream to rise to the top.”

Hear more of Claughton’s comments HERE.

Published in America's Cup

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