A solid final day in Sardinia saw INEOS Rebels UK finish third overall, in what was incredibly close racing by the top three teams. Oman Air were the worthy winners, with Switzerland’s Alinghi finishing second.
Villasimius had a decidedly British feel to it with overcast sky and torrential rain combined with intense gusts due to the northerly wind blowing across mountainous southeast Sardinia, with the wind speed ranging from 9 to 23 knots and kicking up a tricky ground swell to keep the boat in stable flight.
With Ben Ainslie at the helm the INEOS Rebels had a solid first three races, posting a 1,2,3. An OCS in the fourth race saw the team fight back to third with some good tactical calls from Ainslie and tactician Giles Scott, straight off the back of his win in the Finn Europeans last week in Athens. An 8th in the final race wasn’t the ending the team were looking for.
The team are competing as the INEOS Rebels UK, designed to support the development of young British sailors. Ainslie is keen to give maximum development time to the teams young sailors with both Oli Greber and Ben Cornish playing pivotal roles in Villasimius.
Tactician Giles Scott looked back at the final day; “It is shame we didn’t finish the event it off with a good last race, otherwise we were really happy with the way we sailed. It was nip and tuck racing, against very good teams. It really justifies our decision to do this circuit.”
Skipper Ben Ainslie was pleased with the team’s performance. “It’s been great for our team to get out there and do some quality racing in the foiling multihulls and develop our skillsets and racing sharpness in the build up to the America’s Cup. This week was hard racing and strong competition and that has pushed us hard. It is really promising to see the way the team have developed, supported by Rob Wilson our coach and Jono Macbeth (Sailing Team Manager).”
“Our Rebels team is a big part of our America’s Cup campaign and its really good for our team to have young, hungry, enthusiast sailors coming through pushing the senior sailors hard, that’s what we want to see.
“Oli (Greber) was sailing with us at the front of the boat doing the board control, which is a tough job to keep the boat flying especially here, we had quite a lot of ground swell, certainly a tricky job, he was getting plenty of advice from me, he did a really good job!.
“And Ben (Cornish) has been a really big part of this team helping get the boat ready and sailing with the team in the warm up, and will certainly race with the team in the GC32 circuit and as we get into the Cup.”
The team plan to race in another two or three of the GC32 events this season, fitting the schedule around the development and launch of the team’s first America’s Cup race boat this summer Next stop is the GC32 World Championships in Lagos, Portugal (26-30 June 2019) but for now, its back to the Camber HQ in Portsmouth.
- Oman Air (OMN) 44pts
- Alinghi (SUI) 53pts
- INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 60pts
- NORAUTO (FRA) 67pts
- Reb Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 88pts
- Zoulou (FRA) 100pts
- Argo (USA) 104pts
- Código Rojo Racing (ARG) 114pts
- CHINAone NINGBO (CHN) 120pts
- Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 124pts