Barker positive despite Japan struggles
SoftBank Team Japan skipper and chief executive Dean Barker has vowed that his team will rebound when they take on Groupama Team France on the Great Sound today.
“Overall our takeaways are we're really happy with our starts and straight-line speed compared to the competition”, Barker said after his team lost to Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA yesterday. “Tactically, the racecourse was a bit of a minefield today and the lessons we learnt will pay off in the end. We'll have a look at the racing tonight and come out firing tomorrow.”
Barker admitted that Team Japan had a “tough day”, but said that they were not the only ones.
“Today was a tough day for many of the teams and we're no exception,” he added. “It's been amazing to see the upsets all across the board after just two days of racing.
“We feel the boat is going quite quick at the moment and, despite a handling error in the first race that cost us, we're walking away with a lot of positive performance data we'll take into the rest of the Qualifiers.”
Meanwhile, Artemis Racing became the first team to beat defender Oracle yesterday, which delighted the Swedish team's skipper, Nathan Outteridge, especially after they became the first team to lose to the French in yesterday's opening race.
“A lot of the races are about the starts and it was nice to finally win one,” he said.
“We learnt a lot in the race against France, where we put ourselves in a vulnerable position. Jimmy Spithill really wanted the leeward end at the start, but we positioned ourselves nicely, came in with a lot of pace and managed to get the hook on them. Things didn't really go according to plan and we needed to come back strong. We had a hard look at ourselves and all the guys on board stepped it up and this is more like we should be racing.”