Junio 22, 2017

Sailing-Sweden beat New Zealand to level America's Cup duel

19 Junio 2017, 08:18 | Gerardo Tarin

Team New Zealand capsizes in America's Cup challenger race

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"Given the fatal accident involving a British sailor, Andrew "Bart" Simpson, in a similar - albeit larger - foiling America's Cup catamaran four years ago, the sailing world held its breath".

Outteridge, who is an Olympic gold medallist in the physically demanding 49er skiff, slipped and shot off the back of his "flying" high-tech catamaran as it went through a high-speed manoeuvre on Bermuda's Great Sound. "The boys really dug deep".

The cry of "man overboard" was the climax of a dramatic first day of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series final in Bermuda, with Emirates Team New Zealand taking a 2-1 lead in the best of nine series.

The victor will meet two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 35th America's Cup match starting June 17.

In the other semifinal between Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan, the Japanese crew skippered by Dean Barker recovered from a shaky start to beat the Swedish team.

"It's been a very up and down road for us, but it's nice to be hitting a bit of form now", Outteridge said.

Ainslie, one of the world's most accomplished sailors, said he would be back for the next America's Cup.

Sailing can be a unsafe sport at the best of times.

Martin Whitmarsh, chief executive of Land Rover BAR, wants to bring more structure to the event and his idea of staging it every two years has been backed by five of the six teams involved, with only New Zealand yet to agree.

"It was pretty tough out there", Outteridge said. He said the crew will review video to see what precisely went wrong.

Ainslie said: "The whole team; the designers, engineers, shore team and everyone in the office have dug so deep to make us more competitive".

"It's going to be a close race".

They were outstanding in the second race, where they were about as ideal as possible, but tactician Iain Percy said they have a lot of work to do.

"I don't think the wing will be a big issue at all", skipper Ben Ashby said.

The mishap occurred during the days third and final match with Artemis barely ahead of the charging Kiwis by four metres as the teams closed in on the weather mark.

The aggressive style of Outteridge again played a part in opening race of the final, incurring a boundary penalty, as counterpart Peter Burling pressured him upwind.

SoftBank Team Japan hit something shortly after leaving its base for the race course. "Ultimately we weren't able to catch up with the existing teams in time".

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