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America’s Cup: Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK bounce back from World Series struggles

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Ben Ainslie in Ineos' boat
Ben Ainslie’s Ineos team beat Italy’s Luna Rossa and American Magic on day one of the challenger series
Dates: 15 Jan – 22 Feb Venue: Auckland, New Zealand
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two on Tuesday 26 January from 15:45-16:45 GMT.

Ben Ainslie hailed an “epic turnaround” by his Ineos Team UK after they won their first two races in the challenger series that will determine who faces Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup.

Ineos beat American Magic and Italy’s Luna Rossa in the opening races of the four-week qualifier in Auckland.

Four-time Olympic sailing champion Ainslie called it a “team effort”.

“Our entire team back on the dockyards, the designers, the engineers, the shore team, the boat builders, they had three epic weeks working to turn this boat around,” added the Ineos skipper, who memorably joined Oracle Team USA as a tactician during the 2013 America’s Cup as they came from 8-1 down to beat Team New Zealand 9-8..

“We are long way out of the woods yet, it’s a couple of good races. Time to make the most of the momentum now.”

The challenger series began on Friday and runs until 22 February, starting with a round-robin where the three challengers compete in eight races.

The winner of the round-robin proceeds to the final, while the other two challengers face off in a seven-race semi-final.

The final begins on 13 February, with the first yacht to win seven races qualifying to face Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup from 6-21 March.

Round-robin 15-24 January
Semi-finals 29 January-2 February
Final 13-22 February

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