Oracle makes its point against Kiwis at America's Cup

The America's Cup qualification semi-final between Team New Zealand and Sir Ben Ainslie's BAR Team has been abandoned due to light winds in Bermuda.

"They're killing us, just killing us", Ainslie added as New Zealand, helmed by another Olympian Peter Burling, sailed into the distance across the crystal clear Bermudan waters.

However, if they were under any extra pressure, Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA were not showing any nerves in the early stages of the race as won the pre-start duel and made their way off off the start line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand.

Emirates Team New Zealand kept up the pressure on defending America's Cup champions Oracle Team USA on Friday, beating SoftBank Team Japan and drawing level on points with the US team who were convincingly beaten by Sweden's Artemis Racing.

In todays other race, Artemis Racing comfortably beat Groupama Team France, who had already been eliminated.

"To be really honest we are not too unhappy about the situation right the very light airs we do struggle", Ainslie told BT Sport in a televised interview.

Ainslie's bid to qualify for the main event had been delayed after light winds forced the postponement of racing on Wednesday.

Team New Zealand had gathered momentum entering the winner-takes-all affair, leading Oracle by one point, but came off second best in their scrap in the final round-robin phase of qualifying.

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

Groupama Team France led around the penultimate mark of the race, but couldn't match the British downwind as the wind increased to a whole 7.6kts average gusting to 8.7kts on the final run.

It was back to earth with a bump today for Emirates Team New Zealand, as the Kiwis were handed a match-racing lesson from Oracle Team USA in an error-strewn end to the qualifying series.

“We had to win that race and it was great to see the teams response.”.

Oracle punctured Team Zealands hopes of winning the qualifiers to claim the one-point advantage heading into the first-to-seven series, which starts in two weeks.

Wind is expected to build over the next days with regatta director Iain Murray expecting winds in the mid-20 knots range by mid-week.

In this photo provided by the America's Cup Event Authority, Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan compete during America's Cup qualifying on the Great Sound in Bermuda on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

The New Zealand team will be looking to bounce back quickly from yesterday's demoralising loss to Team USA.

"We've done a lot of racing against Artemis Racing over the last 18 months and we've had some great battles", said SoftBank Team Japan helmsman Dean Barker, whose side finished in fifth place with three points in the qualifiers.

  • Julie Sanders