BEN Ainslie has come first in two of the first three races at the America's Cup.

Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team won the second and third races in the international sailing contest, being hosted in Portsmouth.

The wins put the UK in first place on the overall leader board, ahead of France in second and Japan in third.

The USA have finished the day in fourth, with New Zealand in fifth and Sweden in sixth.

Ben Ainslie said: "We want to perform well in front of the home crowd to give them something to cheer for – it’s an extra impetus. We’ve been training hard, preparing thoroughly and the guys are really fired up for it.

“It was very tight racing in quite light and difficult winds. We got caught out in the first race, we were in a strong position and then got stuck with Japan and both of us sailed ourselves to the back of the fleet from second and third which was really frustrating. 

“But I was pleased with the way we regrouped for the final two races. We fought hard and kept going to come away with two wins; and to top the day in such difficult conditions at our home event was a great effort.

“It was difficult on the start line today, the tide was actually pushing us away from it, but I think everyone was desperate to get a good start because it puts you in such a strong position and there were a lot of early starts.

"But after that, because the wind was so patchy, there were a lot of passing lanes and place changes.

"It was a day to keep your eyes open and keep fighting all the way because there were always opportunities to gain and lose, you could never feel secure, you always had to be alert to the changing conditions.”