Team New Zealand will face either Artemis or Dean Barker’s Team Japan in the final – with the victor advancing to face Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup final.
Should Barker achieve victory over Outteridge in the first of the two races scheduled on Friday, it will come down to one final winner-takes-all race to determine which team out of Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan will join Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Final. Although it remained to be seen just how extensive the damage was, he said, “we feel like we’ll be able to fix it and get back into action”. “It’ll be a real battle, but we’re really looking forward to it”.
But disaster struck even before racing began yesterday when they found themselves in a frantic bid to replace their damaged fixed wing sail in time to make the start of their first race.
Once the preserve of old-school yachtsmen, the America’s Cup has become the go-to event for Olympic athletes with the abilities needed to tame supercharged catamarans.
Ainslie and his crew rallied to win the next race but an error in the third was all New Zealand needed to pounce for the vital win.
The Kiwis capsized at the start of a race Tuesday, seriously damaging the boat and costing them a point in the standings.
In the first race, Artemis was penalized at the last mark, allowing the Kiwis to win.
In this photo provided by the America’s Cup Event Authority, Great Britain’s Land Rover BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand compete during America’s Cup challenger semifinals on the Great Sound in Bermuda on Thursday, June 8, .
Today is nearly exactly three years since the British team officially launched their long-term challenge to bring the Cup home to British waters for the first time since the inuagural event in 1851 – 166 years ago – when it was held off the Isle of Wight. Hopefully, the day off yesterday gave teams the time needed to bring their boats back to 100 per cent performance levels.
Artemis has simplified its approach, Outteridge said, and got a pep talk from the stoic Percy, who serves as team manager and tactician.
“I think this America’s Cup class has proven through this competition to be an incredible boat”, he added.
British skipper Ben Ainslie, who crossed the starting line ahead of New Zealand, pulled up as soon as he realized what happened.
Support boats quickly surrounded the stricken catamaran as some of the New Zealand team swam away.