This weekend presented a little microcosm of the AC silly season, with Ben Ainslie’s Team Origin showing just how good they are in really old, really slow boats – Big Ben barely squeaked through to the finals, then schooled Jesper Radich to take the Bermuda Gold Cup and 50 large home to Sir Keith.
Meanwhile, Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand put their money where their mouth is with a new Extreme 40 effort in Almeria, and after two days, they are predictably at the bottom of the fleet, though Barker’s enthusiasm for the racing format – especially the crowds cheering on shore – is obvious. Given the dominance of ETNZ in every class they’ve entered in the past couple of years, it’s refreshing to see them on the steep end of the learning curve for once! There’s plenty more racing to come in Almeria, and you can see the highlight reel from the Sunset+Vine folks from Day 1 here, or a Francophone version from Groupama’s media folks right here. Keep your eyes on the Extreme 40 video page for the Day 2 action in 30+ knots – it should be up sometime early Monday.