“The person who sails the best is going to win”
ORACLE TEAM USA’s Tom Slingsby believes no one team is going to ‘walk away’ with the 35th America’s Cup, with the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers scheduled for Friday 26 May.
The American team’s Tactician was speaking after an intriguing afternoon of America’s Cup practice racing on Tuesday, which saw none of the teams taking part pick up more than one victory and five of the six teams collect a win each from the six races on the Great Sound.
Having seen such mixed results, which included his own ORACLE TEAM USA overcoming SoftBank Team Japan before suffering defeat to Artemis Racing, Slingsby doesn’t think anyone could predict a winner at this stage, although three other teams, along with ORACLE TEAM USA in particular, have caught his eye.
“We did okay from the two races. The one against Japan we led from the start and had a comfortable win and then the second one against Artemis we had a few system issues, they got out to a lead and unfortunately we couldn’t catch them,” said Slingsby.
“I think it’s really up in the air. If you can win the start and sail cleanly without any mistakes, even with a slight speed disadvantage to another boat, you’re going to be hard to beat.
“We’re seeing whoever wins the start and sails cleanly, they’re winning the races.
“There are a couple of teams who are moving pretty fast. Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing are going nicely, while SoftBankTeam Japan had a good race beating Artemis Racing.
“So between ourselves, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan it’s a close race, the person who sails the best is going to win.
“If we headed into the America’s Cup with an even boat, the same boat speed and even conditions then I’d be happy with our chances going against any team.
“It’s going to be exciting whoever we race. It will come down to the sailors and the designs of the boats; no one is going to walk away with it so we’ll see.”