Friday, 15 November, 2019

Semi-finals delayed by light winds

Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand are all the rage after a near-perfect day on the Great Sound Semi-finals delayed by light winds
Vera Richards | 06 June, 2017, 05:39

In response, Land Rover BAR helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie, whose team finished third in the qualifiers standings on six points, is prepared for the challenge ahead.

The race between the French and Japanese crews was delayed from Wednesday as a shifting wind dropped to the borderline for the average speed needed for the high-tech catamarans to race. The Kiwis reached match point at 8-1 and was way ahead in what would have been the deciding race, but it was abandoned after the time limit expired on a fluky day on San Francisco Bay.

Turning back to his team's choice of Land Rover BAR, Burling explained that, "We believe with the forecasts over the coming week that it represents our best chance of progressing through".

That is the end of Oracle Team USA's competitive action until Saturday 17th June when they will race the first two rounds of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

Team New Zealand's only race Saturday is against the American-based crew.

In the day's other race on the Great Sound, the defending champions US defeated Japan to sit top of the standings on seven points, although they will skip the semi-finals and automatically advance to the America's Cup proper.

The Kiwis' decision was surprisingly pre-empted by United States of America skipper Jimmy Spithill, who appeared before the challenger teams at the press conference and announced that his "leak" in Team NZ had told him of the BAR preference.

Conditions suggest light-air masters Emirates Team New Zealand will set up a rematch with Oracle Team USA, but there will be no margin for error.

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"We made some little errors and then learned a lot and we stayed out for a while afterwards to practice a few things that went wrong during the race and we are really happy with the few improvements we made afterwards".

The winners of the qualifying series will carry a point into the regatta finale, the Cup Match, if they get that far.

Team Japan bought Oracle's design package as part of a deal to enter the America's Cup, and there has been speculation that the startup syndicate, led by former Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, could help Oracle clinch the bonus point by tanking in the head-to-head showdowns.

Nearing the top of the starting line Jimmy Spithill, to leeward with rights, tried to squeeze Burling above the upper mark, but Burling held his course and thus failed to keep clear.

SoftBank Team Japan also gets expertise in aerodynamics, instrumentation, simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis from Airbus, the European plane maker and "innovation partner" to both teams.

"We know that to go and beat Oracle Team USA we now have to beat SoftBank Team Japan and Emirates Team New Zealand".

The other two semi-finalists will be Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan.

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