America's Cup Competition in Chicago, the Windy City beckons
The 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (ACWS) moves to Chicago and the American Midwest for the third event of the season. Land Rover BAR lie in third place after winning the first 2016 event in Oman back in February - the first team to win two LVACWS events in this Cup cycle.
It will be the first time that America's Cup racing has not been in salt water, as the team moves to Lake Michigan the fifth largest body of fresh water in the world at over 100 miles wide and 300 miles long. Racing will be focused around Navy Pier, the top attended leisure destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than eight million visitors every year. Chicago's picturesque lakefront will become the stadium, with public viewing along the shoreline of Monroe Harbour.
All the action - in the UK and Ireland - can be watched live on BT Sport, with Saturday's racing beginning at 19:00 on BT Sport 2; then Sunday's racing is live on BT Sport 1 beginning at 18:30. Both channels will run replays of the racing throughout the weekend.
Racing schedule (BST):
Race Day 1 : Saturday 11th June
19:37 - Race 1 scheduled start
20:03 - Race 2 scheduled start
20:33 - Race 3 scheduled start
Race Day 2 : Sunday 12th June
19:37 - Race 4 scheduled start
20:03 - Race 5 scheduled start
20:33 - Race 6 scheduled start
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series race course on Chicago's waterfront
Thoughts ahead of the racing
Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Team Principal:
"The goal for each event is we want to win, ultimately that is where we want to be. For the America's Cup World Series there are some bonus points for the first and second place teams at the end of the series going into the America's Cup finals in Bermuda. Ultimately for the end of the Series we want to be in the top two teams. We are currently third behind ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand who are leading the leader board so we want to close in on those two teams.
"We are really looking forward to racing in Chicago, there are some new challenges, for most of us it will be the first time foiling in freshwater, for me personally the first time to race in Chicago. So I'm very excited about going to the city and racing in the new sailing conditions."
Skipper and Team Principal, Ben Ainslie on the helm (c) Harry KH
Jono Macbeth, Sailing Team Manager:
"Chicago looks really exciting, the setup looks amazing. Chicago has a huge sailing heritage and it's going to be fantastic to get these high performance boats on Lake Michigan for the first time, it should be a real spectacle.
"What's so exciting about Chicago is the opportunity to bring these boats and this incredible racing to a new and different location. Many people in the Midwest won't have had the chance to see this kind of sailing before and hopefully we will get a lot of younger sailors and spectators down at the race village and watching the racing over the weekend."
The Land Rover BAR team racing in New York last month (c) Lloyd images
Paul Campbell-James, Wing Trimmer:
"We're really looking forward to going to Chicago. I've never raced there before, but we've had a good look at the race course and it looks like there's a good chance of some nice conditions. The water will be really flat because we're racing inside the breakwater and that's perfect for high-speed foiling, it should be a great event."
During the event, Land Rover BAR's Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing will be hosting a screening of the documentary Racing Extinction by Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyus. The film will be introduced by race car driver and environmental activist Leilani Münter – it had a big impact on our sailing team when they saw it earlier this year. Screening times: Friday June 10th, 4:30 – 6.30pm, Grand Ballroom, Navy Pier, and Saturday June 11th, 4:30 - 6:30pm, IMAX Theatre, Navy Pier – reserve your free ticket here:
Friday June 10 | Saturday June 11
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Leader board after five events:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand 244
2. ORACLE TEAM USA 236
3. Land Rover BAR 227
4. SoftBank Team Japan 203
5. Artemis Racing 201
6. Groupama Team France 194
Land Rover BAR Chicago line up:
Ben Ainslie - Skipper and Team Principal
Paul Campbell-James - Wing Trimmer
David 'Freddie' Carr - Runner
Nick Hutton - Trimmer
Ed Powys - Bow
Andrew McLean - Runner/ Bow
Jono Macbeth - Sailing Team Manager
Jo Lees - Boat Captain
Ian Pattison - Shore support
James Chapman - Rib driver and Shore support
Ian Boag - Shore support
Ben Williams - Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach / Safety support
Rob Wilson - Coach
Luc du Bois - Performance Analysis
About Land Rover BAR
Sarah Alexander, Land Rover BAR Press Officer
email. Sarah.email@example.com | tel. +44 7766 391 276 / +44 1489 587 838
Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America's Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America's Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben has developed and will lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.
Land Rover BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.
Sports teams represent key role models in society. This privileged position is not taken for granted at Land Rover BAR. The team believe our influence should extend far beyond the race course, and have put sustainability at the heart of operations since launching the team with Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing in 2014.
The team have built a new headquarters in the centre of Portsmouth, the 74,000 sq ft. building houses all the team's activities, and the team is now welcoming school children and young people into their newly opened 'Tech Deck' education centre.
The 1851 Trust is the team's official charity, and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is its Royal Patron.
Portsmouth will host a second Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event on 21st-24th July 2016. Almost a quarter of a million spectators enjoyed the action in Portsmouth in 2015, with 25,000 of them taking to the water - more are expected to come back in 2016 to watch the racing and cheer for the home team.
About Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Ltd