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BAR youngsters give lesson in consistency

The Brits picked up a victory in the final race and lead the overall standings by a commanding seven points

Rob Bunce, the Land Rover BAR Academy skipper, has reflected on an “epic day” after two second places and a first to top the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals standings.

The British side seized control on day one yesterday and enjoy a seven-point cushion ahead of Team Tilt, of Switzerland, and Team France Jeune heading into today’s finale.

Bunce, also the bowman, believes strong starts and clean manoeuvres were essential to his team’s success.

“It’s the perfect start we were looking for and we’re all delighted with our level of consistency,” Bunce said.

“Our main focus isn’t to necessarily to win each of the races; it’s more about keeping that consistency and finishing in the top three as much as we can because consistency is key.

“Getting off that start line cleanly has been the crucial thing for us and if we can do that, then we’re all confident we are quick enough to challenge for those top places on a regular basis.”

Bunce insists BAR Academy will start today “as if yesterday’s races didn’t happen”, as they chase a maiden title.

“Obviously, we have a little cushion, but we won’t think about that,” he said.

“It will be nil-nil and we’ll go again. Today was epic and we couldn’t be happier with that.

“We will take all the positives from today, but there are still things to learn and improve on.”

Having the full support of the BAR America’s Cup team and their skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie, has been a huge boost for the Academy, Bunce said.

“All of the team from Land Rover BAR, including Ben, have been incredibly helpful and supportive to us on and off the water.

“It’s been amazing to have that support and hopefully we can do this for them as well.”

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Team France Jeune, who are third in the standings with 21 points.

They won the second race, finished fourth in the first and were a disappointing seventh in the third.

Robin Follin, the skipper, said: “It’s a good day, we are third and we’re happy tonight. The British team were very consistent and we have some things to improve on.”

Max Kohlhoff, the SVB Team Germany skipper, believes his team are capable of far more after an eighth place and two fifths.

“It was a tough day for us,” said Kohlhoff, whose team are seventh overall with 15 points.

“We struggled a bit with the boat speed. It’s a different boat for the qualifiers and we have to get used to it.

“We have three more races and it’s only six points to second place. We have proven we can be among the top and we will give it our best tomorrow.”

Among Kohlhoff’s team-mates are his brothers, Johann and Paul.

“We are three brothers and we haven’t really sailed together before,” he said. “But we communicate well because we know each other so well. We can all sail better and hopefully we will show that tomorrow.”