America’s Cup: Swedish success in Toulon as GB leads overall series

Story highlights

Artemis Racing takes Toulon round

Wins three of six races off French coast

GB team extends World Series lead

Final round in Japan in November

CNN  — 

Super Sunday in Toulon saw the Swedish multihull Artemis Racing clinch overall victory in the Toulon round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

Skippered by Nathan Outteridge, Artemis won two of the opening three races on the first day of competition Saturday and backed that up with a third victory from four in the final day opener.

A third place in the fifth round of six sealed the honors off the French coast for the Swedish challenger with an unassailable lead.

Late summer sunshine and light and fickle winds was a feature on both days of racing and series leader Land Rover BAR of Britain, skippered by Ben Ainslie, found itself sixth of six in the two opening races before claiming victory in the third.

Rio Olympic gold medalist Giles Scott was returning to the crew and Ainslie admitted their partnership was a bit rusty.

“It was the first time we were sailing back together for a long time and it took us a couple of races to get into our stride, ” he told the official America’s Cup website.

The GB comeback continued with victory in race five Sunday, but Softbank Team Japan surprisingly took the sixth under the determined skipper Dean Barker.

That result saw the Japanese boat edge Land Rover BAR for second overall in Toulon, a welcome boost for that syndicate.

With one round of the 2016 series remaining, in Fukuoka, Japan in November, Ainslie’s British challenger has extended its lead over Oracle Team USA in the overall standings to 14 points.

The US team, with Tom Slingsby at the helm in place of regular skipper Jimmy Spithill, endured a difficult weekend in France, trailing home in a surprising sixth overall.

Emirates Team New Zealand is a further three points adrift in third overall while Artemis Racing has taken closer order in fifth place after its Toulon heroics.

Points from this year’s series count towards the qualifying series for the America’s Cup proper in 2017 in Bermuda.

The top team from qualifying will earn the right to challenge defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 35th staging of the famous event, which begins next June.