Race day 4 | GC32 Racing Tour, Villasimius

 After four days of racing in Sardinia, INEOS TEAM UK finish third overall at the GC32 Villasimius Cup, with 47 points. The result marks the team’s third consecutive GC32 Racing Tour podium finish since their first event together back in July.

It was late off the dock this morning as light airs set-upon the port of Villasimius. Initial concerns that no racing would take place eased as a light sea breeze arrived which enabled the race committee to run three races in testing conditions.

Neil Hunter (centre) works the boat hard in the light conditions
© Harry KH

The final day of the regatta saw the British team post a 4, 1 & 4. However, despite the podium result the team will rue the previous day of the regatta which saw points dropped against their nearest rivals.

Helmsman and skipper, Ben Ainslie summarised the day and the team’s overall performance in Villasimius “A slightly better day for us, the wind was swinging a lot which made it tricky, but we managed to dig deep and put together a set of results that secured the podium place. The second race was the highlight performance wise, we made a great start and held the position throughout to take the win.

Ben Ainslie in Sardinia
© Harry KH

“Overall it was good to be here and out racing again, we obviously wanted to do better but we are still on a learning curve. It’s positive that we are back on the race course regularly competing against teams of a high standard, in the long run this will be a huge benefit for the team.’

INEOS TEAM UK are competing for the oldest trophy in sport – The America’s Cup – and bring the Cup back to Britain for the first time. Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and chairman of INEOS, and Andy Currie his fellow INEOS Director, visited the team in Villasimius to watch the team compete for the first time.

l-r Jim Ratcliffe, Grant Simmer & Jono Macbeth watch the team in action
© Harry KH

Ainslie added; “It has been great to have Jim and Andy here with their families supporting the team. They got to see a high standard of professional yacht racing for the first time, which will give them a good understanding of what’s in store as we work towards the 36th America’s Cup”

The GC32 Villasimius Cup was the fourth and penultimate event of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour with eight teams from seven nations now heading to Toulon, France (10 –14 October) for the final event of the season.

Final standings
1 NORAUTO (FRA), 39
2 Realteam (SUI), 40
3 INEOS TEAM UK (GBR), 47
4 Zoulou (FRA), 48
5 Frank Racing (NZL), 65
6 Argo (USA), 72
7 Código Rojo Racing (ARG), 83

INEOS TEAM UK GC32 Race Squad:
Ben Ainslie, Helm
Iain Jensen, Mainsail
Joey Newton, Jib Trim
Neil Hunter, Bow
Luke Parkinson, Float

Support team:
Jono Macbeth, Sailing Team Manager
Rob Wilson, Coach
Matty Adams, Senior Shore Support
Aston Campion, Shore Support
Ben Williams, Head of Human Performance

2018 GC32 Racing Tour:
GC32 World Championships 23-27 May - Lake Garda, Italy (INEOS TEAM UK DID NOT COMPETE)
GC32 Lagos Cup, 27 June – 1 July - Lagos, Portugal
GC32 37th Copa Del Rey MAPFRE, 31 July – 4 August - Palma de Mallorca, Spain
GC32 Villasimius Cup, 12 – 16 September - Villasímius, Sardinia, Italy
GC32 TPM Med Cup, 10 –14 October - Toulon, France