Brits retire from America's Cup trials race with damage

Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew pulled up on the third of seven legs after the camber arm in the high-tech wing sail broke.

Damage to controls within the wing were unable to be repaired in time for race two forcing BAR to withdraw from the second race handing the Kiwis both points for the day.

Ainslie's America's Cup challenger crew, who are seeking to bring the trophy "home" to Britain, was forced to quit after hearing a "bang" during what was set up to be a tight race against New Zealand.

"Ultimately, we'll have to switch wings and whether we can get ourselves out for the second race, it's highly unlikely".

"It's pretty serious", said Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

"We were really happy with how we prepared this morning and had a really good pre-start to lead at mark one - all we were trying to do is make our life nice and easy - and we sailed well downwind", he said.

This was the most serious of Ainslie's troubles this spring.

Team New Zealand merely had to start the second race and the race committee immediately black-flagged it, giving the Kiwis a 2-0 lead in the best-of-9 series. We'll be doing everything we can to get back out for the next race. "We knew something fundamental was wrong".

"We have forfeited racing today due to damage to our wing, we will be back tomorrow (Tuesday) to fight another day", the British team said on Twitter. The teams were to race again Monday.

Ainslie described a loud crunching sound from within the wing as the team completed their rounding at gate two but did not want to elaborate on the specifics of the breakage.

"By the time we got to the dock, it was clear that it was infeasible to get the boat back out for the second race. We felt we were in for a real battle today and obviously it was a bit of a shame there wasn't much of a battle".

The incident occurred just after BAR rounded the bottom mark six seconds behind Team NZ and were setting themselves up to split left upwind. "We're looking forward to a better forecast tomorrow".

In the other semi-final on Monday, SoftBank Team Japan and Sweden's Artemis Racing shared the spoils with one win apiece in their opening playoff duel.

In the second race, Team Japan had a bad gybe and buried its bows in the water just as the crew was crossing the boat.

The winners of the two semifinals matches will then meet for the right to face two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup match starting June 17.

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  • Julie Sanders