Kiwis beat British to reach America's Cup challenger finals

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16 June, 2017

Ainslie's first shot at achieving that ended on Thursday, when a team from New Zealand, one of only four countries to have won the cup, beat his Land Rover BAR crew in the semi-final of the 35th America's Cup challenger series in Bermuda.

The winners of the series are set to progresses to the challenger final and whoever wins that takes on defending champions Team USA for the America's Cup itself. "It was a great day for us to be able to repay the shore crew by getting it done with a day to go".

"We're bitterly disappointed to lose races and not continue in the America's Cup but that's sport and the America's Cup is a tough game".

But Team New Zealand suffered one of the more dramatic capsize moments you could expect, after high winds catapulted some of their crew members into the choppy waters.

In the other semi-final, SoftBank Team Japan lead Sweden's Artemis Racing 3-1 ahead of their two races on Thursday.

Controversy erupted in the second race between the two, with Artemis tactician Iain Percy infuriated by penalties meted out after they sailed full-tilt beyond the course boundary.

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Ainslie managed to raise 90 million pounds ($116 million) to fund his campaign, building a massive team headquarters in Portsmouth on the south coast of England. The Americas Cup should get back to good racing; more than survival.

"Once they got in front it was always going to be hard to claw it back", said Barker, who said he hoped the SoftBank Team would return to challenge in the next America's Cup.

"We'll bounce back from this, but right now we are still assessing the damage", Burling said, adding that he could not say whether the boat would be back on the water on Wednesday.

Crucially, Outteridge and Artemis appear to have built momentum at the business end of the competition, and the 31-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medalist promised no let up against New Zealand.

In the third race, SoftBank Team Japan didn't give Artemis enough room at the fifth gate mark and was penalized.

Artemis Racing was a new syndicate four years ago but was devastated by the tragic death of British Olympic star Andrew "Bart" Simpson when its 72-foot catamaran broke apart during a training run in May 2013.


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