Race one was led away by Emirates Team New Zealand, under the helm of Olympic Champion Pete Burling, but, as per Saturday, Artemis Racing were quickly up ahead and around the first mark ahead of Softbank Team Japan who were very keen to make amends for their disappointing Saturday. Behind them Land Rover BAR had a penalty before the startline but fought hard up to third place at the halfway mark with ORACLE TEAM USA, Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand behind. Artemis stretched their lead, crossing the line at the end of race one first for the third time over the weekend, but it was Groupama Team France who were most disappointed with race four, finishing in sixth behind Emirates Team New Zealand and slipping to fourth in the regatta standings. Land Rover BAR held that third place, but ORACLE TEAM USA kept up the overall standings pressure just behind in fourth, so everything was there to play for in races five and six.
The thousands of fans lining the Toulon shore were hoping for a better showing from Groupama Team France in race five but it was Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR who seized the early advantage, streaking ahead to the first mark, but to loud cheers from the shore, Groupama Team France were second, showing the sort of form that put them into second place overnight in the regatta on Saturday. Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan both had to serve penalties after the start, but all eyes were on the French team in second and they did not disappoint, pushing the Brits all the way.
However, yet again in Toulon, Artemis Racing were the team to watch, moving their way up to third by the start of leg four. Behind them, ORACLE TEAM USA were having a race to forget in sixth, as were Softbank Team Japan who were in fifth, leaving Emirates Team New Zealand in fourth.
At the finish line of race two the positions had not changed – Land Rover BAR in first, Groupama Team France second and Artemis Racing third, but Softbank Team Japan had moved into fourth, leaving ORACLE TEAM USA battling it out with Emirates Team New Zealand for fifth and sixth respectively.
Race three, the decider and an utterly enthralling yet topsy-turvy race. A messy start for ORACLE TEAM USA and Artemis Racing who were both hit with penalties for crossing the startline early, but Groupama Team France finally showed their mettle, putting clear air between themselves and Softbank Team Japan in second and taking a huge early advantage. Land Rover BAR picked up a penalty for not giving room to Emirates Team New Zealand, relegating them to the back of the fleet, but throughout the race that ensued there were lead changes in the overall standings throughout, keeping the fans watching live at the event and on TV on the edge of their seats.
One minute it was Groupama Team France up ahead, then suddenly Softbank Team Japan were out in front, Emirates Team New Zealand were second and the home team, Groupama Team France, were third, and thus race six finished.
With that result in the last race, Softbank Team Japan, sixth on Saturday, had, incredibly, put themselves into second overall in the regatta, but it was Artemis Racing who were really celebrating, taking overall regatta honours despite finishing fifth in race six.
Land Rover BAR finished the weekend third, Groupama Team France fourth, Emirates Team New Zealand fifth and ORACLE TEAM USA sixth.
Those results extend Land Rover BAR’s lead in the overall series to 14 points over ORACLE TEAM USA, so the pressure in the last round in Fukuoka, Japan, will be intense