Sailing: Japan knocked out in America's Cup semifinal
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 1:01
Outteridge slipped and flew off the boat as the crew changed sides while the 50-foot foiling catamaran was turning while going about 27 knots on the fifth of seven legs.
Emirates Team New Zealand, the hard-luck loser in the 2013 America's Cup, overcame an issue with one of its daggerboards at the start and passed the British late in the first race to win by 31 seconds and reach match point.
The victor will meet two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 35th America's Cup match starting June 17.
New Zealand's boat had been a wreck after it capsized on Tuesday but they made sufficient repairs to progress to the final of the play-offs against either Artemis or SoftBank Team Japan.
"I've always said I love racing and I'd like to keep racing". They passed Team Japan and kept the lead for the win.
The Australian was left stranded in the water, from where he was later picked up by a support boat, leaving his crew mates to try to steer the catamaran for the remainder of the race.
The challenger final resumes on Sunday with three more races.
Sir Ben Ainslie vowed to return even stronger after Land Rover BAR were eliminated from the America's Cup in the Challenger semi-final in Bermuda.
Elsewhere, Artemis Racing, led by Briton Iain Percy, produced a remarkable turnaround by winning all three races to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead heading into the final day of racing.
Crucially, Outteridge and Artemis appear to have built momentum at the business end of the competition, and the 31-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medalist promised no let up against New Zealand. He helped Oracle Team USA rally from an 8-1 deficit to win eight straight races against Team New Zealand in 2013 to retain the oldest trophy in worldwide sports.
To win the America's Cup you've got to beat all the teams. After the Kiwis reached match point, Oracle won eight straight races to retain the oldest trophy in global sports.
"I couldn't be prouder of the team today".
Team New Zealand had just pulled ahead of Artemis when Outteridge took a swim. So if we can get off the line well and put ETNZ under a bit of pressure, I think anything is possible. "It was a great day for us to be able to repay the shore crew by getting it done with a day to go".
Team New Zealand skipper Peter Burling said he wasn't sure if any celebration was planned for beating Britain but felt going for a training session immediately after Friday's racing was a sign of the mindset of the team at the moment.