America's Cup: Crew safe after NZ boat capsizes

Emirates Team New Zealand clinched a spot Thursday in the America's Cup challenger finals, rebounding from a dramatic capsize two days earlier to eliminate British sailing star Sir Ben Ainslie.

For Burling and his crew, the incredible efforts the team made from Tuesday to Thursday to fix the boat that was so badly damaged in Tuesday's pitchpole were repaid handsomely, putting themselves into the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals as the first team to reach that stage.

Grinder Luke Parkinson quickly jumped behind the wheel, but down to five crewmen, Artemis eased up as Kiwi skipper Peter Burling sailed off to victory.

Racing in 19 to 22 knots and choppy seas, the pre-start was a much different scene as Barker and Outteridge aggressively manoeuvred the Americas Cup Class boats before the advantage went to Barker with a well-timed start. Outteridge and Iain Jensen, an Artemis crewman, won the gold medal in the 49er class in the 2012 Olympics, with Burling and Blair Tuke, also a Team New Zealand crewman, taking the silver.

Artemis had been almost ideal in Race 2, leading wire-to-wire and staying on its hydrofoils the whole way. It's a huge credit to our team - and a huge thank you to them, I couldn't be more proud. In the first race, Artemis was penalized at the last mark, allowing the Kiwis to win.

Ainslie, 40, one of the world's most accomplished sailors, hoped to become the first Englishman to hoist the Auld Mug in victory.

As predicted, the series is developing into an incredibly tight fight, and with light winds forecast for tomorrow both crews will face a whole new range of challenges. Land Rover BAR managed to get away from New Zealand again and this time maintain their lead in the second race, matching their opponents for speed and managing to shake off the stability gremlins which have dogged them previously.

Holders Oracle Team USA await the winners of the challenger final in the America's Cup.

Team New Zealand had just pulled ahead of Artemis when Outteridge took a swim.

“To come back from 3-1 down, the boys really dug deep, ” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said.

Burling said he had done the same thing during practices in the past.

Artemis Racing lead their semi-final 4-3 after winning their three races on Friday.

  • Julie Sanders