Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

Sailing-America's Cup race between New Zealand and Sweden abandoned

Sailing-America's Cup race between New Zealand and Sweden abandoned

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup match starting next weekend.

After racing, the inaugural Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs Trophy was presented to Emirates Team New Zealand by Grant Gibbons, Bermuda's Minister of Economic Development, at a prize-giving ceremony in the America's Cup Village.

In the first race, Artemis had the lead but Outteridge crossed the course boundary for an unforced error and had to slow to two boat lengths behind the Kiwis.

After the race was delayed a couple of hours, Kiwi skipper Peter Burling delivered a textbook display in light winds to seal its spot.

They bounced back from a near-catastrophic capsize last week when racing Land Rover BAR, getting their 50-foot (15 metre) catamaran and towering wing foil repaired in time to beat the British crew and progress to the Challenger final.

"I'm pretty sure we'll be going up against not quite the same Oracle as we went up against in the Challenger Series - but at the same time, there's not a whole heap you can actually improve on other than how you're sailing the boat", he said.

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"We were planning on going through the gate and carrying on for another 18 seconds through the gate and gybing through the finish".

"We've had some really hard racing from an fantastic team".

"We had just battled our way back in and it was obviously a bit of a shame".

"The boat configuration was really good today. we got a good start and sailed a good race".

"I was just looking for something to grab onto", said Outteridge, an Australian who has won Olympic gold and silver medals.

"It's going to be an incredible match", Outteridge said.

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Devoid of their skipper, the Swedes retired, allowing the Kiwis to sail freely to a 2-1 lead.

"Whoever has the fastest boat in the last race will eventually win this thing".

There were celebrations aboard the New Zealand catamaran after they crossed the line almost a minute ahead of their opponents after an earlier race had to be abandoned when the wind dropped away and left both teams drifting. Burling and his Kiwis nearly made the pass, but this time, Artemis Racing recovered - just in time - and protected through to the finish. There won't be enough speed difference for one team to win without sailing well. "And we got a good start, so it's all the little things we've worked on all week. But we'd definitely prefer to be in front".

Speaking on the rivalry between Team New Zealand and the side who came from 8-1 down to claim the Auld Mug in 2013, Burling said he's excited by the prospect of smack-talk and facing off with Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill. On Friday, Team Japan had the early lead but Outteridge outmaneuvered Dean Barker to take the lead after a bad tack by Team Japan on the third leg.

It's been a dramatic week in the America's Cup challenger eliminations on Bermuda's Great Sound, and the main event is still a week away.

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