Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Team New Zealand capsizes in America's Cup challenger race

A catastrophic capsize in race four of the semi-finals in Bermuda has put Emirates Team New Zealand's challenge for the 35 America's Cup under huge pressure.

Some of the crew were thrown overboard, while others, including Burling, remained trapped in the vessel as it teetered upright while they waited for the safety boat to arrive.

Team New Zealand now have a colossal job on their hands, with the shore crew racing against the clock to get the boat in condition to be racing-ready once again.

Team NZ's boat sustained quite a bit of damage in this morning's capsize, helmsman Peter Burling says, and they're unsure if they'll be back racing tomorrow.

A promising start on the first two legs of race one saw Land Rover BAR matching ETNZ to gate two, but as they rounded the leeward gate they suffered a failure in the wing forcing the team to retire from race one.

The Kiwis had only to start the second race to pocket the point and they're happy to resume racing against the British tomorrow two up in the first-to-five series.

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge's Swedish team Artemis Racing broke even with a win and loss against Team Japan in Bermuda.

The New Zealand boat managed to lift on its foils for more of the course in the choppy waters, reaching speeds of more than 40 knots at times in the high winds.

Burling said: "We will bounce back from this, as team this will really pull us together".

Britain's Ben Ainslie had got the better of New Zealand's Burling in the pre-start to the race, getting a clean run at the start line.

"Right now, the guys have obviously taken the boat out [of the water] and are assessing the damage, of which we have quite a bit, but we feel like we'll be able to fix it and get back into action".

In the second race, Team Japan had a bad gybe and buried its bows in the water just as the crew was crossing the boat.

Ainslie hopes Team New Zealand will be able to renew their rivalry out on the water. Those conditions helped to produce a day of contrasts, with fantastic competition in one half of the Semi-Final table, and heartbreak for Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR in the other.

As defending champions Team USA get automatic entry into the America's Cup so will not take part in the Challenger semi-finals which started in Bermuda on June 5.

The crews in the first scheduled semi-final, Emirates Team New Zealand and Britain's Land Rover BAR, had sat on board their catamarans waiting to see if the wind would build, trying to stay out of the beating sun.

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