The first real competition in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series was sailed in light air over the weekend off Muscat, Oman. After incurring a penalty for starting prematurely in the first race, Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR sailed back up the fleet to salvage a third-place finish behind Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA. The team followed that up with two victories, finishing Saturday four points clear. But Ainslie said it was anything but easy in the light winds. “These conditions make it very challenging,” he said. “You need a decent start and to go the right way, so it’s tough on the tacticians.”
A popular result on Sunday came from Groupama Team France, with a second-place finish in the day’s second race followed by a victory in the weekend’s final race. Adam Minoprio replaced the injured Franck Cammas on the helm, as the latter is still recovering from a serious foot injury. Cammas is expected to be onboard for the next ACWS event on May 6-8 in New York City. The six teams will go into that event with Land Rover BAR in first, Oracle in second, and ETNZ in third. See www.americascup.com for more.
All is not sunshine and shiny trophies with the sailing scene in Oman, however, as the Oman Sailing Committee has withdrawn from hosting the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships scheduled for December. World Sailing’s press release obliquely implied that Oman would not be able to treat Israeli sailors equally, as required by the non-discrimination elements of the Olympic Charter. "World Sailing confirms it will continue to apply this guidance strictly to all of its future World Sailing championships and explicit acceptance of these conditions will form part of the bid criteria for future events." For more on the background of this story, see www.sailing.org/news/39107.php.