America's Cup 2017: Wednesday's Semi-Finals Postponed Because Of High Winds
19 Junio 2017, 04:40 | Gerardo Tarin
With the two boats roughly level mid-race, Sweden's Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge slipped and went overboard while moving across the boat. 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.
New Zealand lead Sir Ben Ainslie's Great Britain team 3-1 in their first-to-five contest.
The victor of the challenger finals, which start Saturday, will face two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 35th America's Cup match starting June 17. "Full credit to them".
"All of us sitting here are not going to pass criticism - these boats are incredibly hard to sail and these things can happen - thank God most importantly everyone is fine on the boat", Ainslie said at a press conference broadcast via the official America's Cup YouTube channel.
"We were really thankful that no-one was hurt", he said.
Helmsman Peter Burling said he, skipper and wing trimmer Glenn Ashby and Simon van Velthooven remained in the boat while Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke and Josh Junior were thrown into the water.
Ainslie, who had crossed the start line in front, immediately slowed and instructed the support boat following him to return to render assistance.
The Kiwis then saluted the British crew.
Devoid of their captain, the Swedes gave up the ghost in Bermuda'sGreat Sound and retired, allowing the Kiwis to freely sail to victory.
"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".
"Unfortunately we won't be racing and we will have to come back tomorrow".
Ainslie said: "The whole team; the designers, engineers, shore team and everyone in the office have dug so deep to make us more competitive".
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. "I think had I not fallen off in that last race, it would have been 2-1, so a bit disappointed there but very happy with the overall performance today".
The other semi-final is being fought out between Sweden'sArtemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan who had also been scheduled to complete two races on Wednesday.
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Elsewhere, Artemis Racing, led by Briton Iain Percy, produced a remarkable turnaround by winning all three races to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead heading into the final day of racing.
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