Sport

Kiwis reach match point in America's Cup challenger finals

Kiwis reach match point in America's Cup challenger finals”

The first attempt at sailing race seven was abandoned on the second run, when the time limit expired due to a dying breeze.

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With three races scheduled for tomorrow, the Kiwis could possibly blitz Artemis to take out the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series 5-1, earning them the right to finally put Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA in their place.

How does it all work?

Artemis squared the ledger at 2-2 in the fourth race despite a terrible tack when leading on the final upwind leg, but New Zealand won race five easily then race six by one second to seize control.

That race got underway in 7 knots, where it was all New Zealand as they won the start after the Swedes were OCS, extending quickly until the wind dramatically dropped on the ensuing upwind leg.

"It's obviously a massive milestone for us as a team to be through to the Cup final, and be able to take on Oracle next week", he said.

Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis helmsman, was disappointed to bow out of the regatta, but exemplified great sportsmanship in defeat.

Emirates Team New Zealand beat Sweden's Artemis Racing by only half-a-second to go 4-2 up in the best-of-nine America's Cup challenger play-off final.

Oracle Team USA beat Team New Zealand twice in the round-robins. We've gone through a lot of adversity with things like the capsize and some tough races here and there.

"It's the first time it's happened to myself or to probably many people in these boats and I don't think it will be the last, either", Outteridge said. "Iain Percy had a few words to the team and just reminded us to trust our gut and to sail the boat to our capabilities".

"The boat was going seriously fast", said Burling.

Burling said while Team New Zealand had been working hard just to get to the America's Cup final against Oracle, but warned their opponents that they "still have plenty of things coming along". New Zealand's win ultimately ousted Britain from contention, and it set up a grudge match for the Kiwis and the Yankees. "We'd love to keep going but that's a question we now have to ask".

Emirates Team New Zealand reached match point at 8-1 on San Francisco Bay.

After what seems like the 100th poor start from Peter Burling in this qualification series, Team New Zealand again had to find a way to claw themselves back into the contest.

"One thing about this team, they've dug super-deep to get us to this point", said Burling, whose team are determined to bring the venerable trophy home for a third time, after winning with Black Magic in 1995 and 2000.

"We can be really proud of the way we raced".

"That's really been a big one for us and we're going to have to keep getting better at that this week if we're going to have any chance against the Oracle guys this weekend".



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