Artemis skipper falls overboard in Cup challenger finals

15 June, 2017, 01:40 | Author: Felix Jensen

He was sacked by Emirates Team New Zealand in the aftermath of blowing an 8-1 lead to Oracle Team USA in the 2013 America's Cup match.

Team New Zealand have taken a dramatic 2-1 lead in the America's Cup challenger final off Bermuda, after rivals Artemis Racing lost skipper Nathan Outteridge overboard.

They will have to race in stronger winds on Saturday for a chance to take on Team New Zealand who have the luxury of a day off to tweak their boat ahead of the planned start of the challengers final on Sunday.

Ainslie and his crew rallied to win the next race but an error in the third was all New Zealand needed to pounce for the vital win.

Dean Barker, the SoftBank Team Japan helmsman, was left to ponder what might have been after finding himself on the wrong end of another Americas Cup comeback on the Great Sound yesterday.

"The main thing is that we have simplified our racing slightly", Outteridge said.

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If Oracle Team USA or Artemis Racing win, a framework has been agreed among five of the teams for taking it through to the next event, once again in the high-octane foiling catamarans which have proved popular with sailors and broadcasters.

The victor of the best of nine series will go on to challenge Oracle Team USA for the America's Cup. "When we got back to the dock today to see the whole team there celebrating moving into the next round, that's when you realize it is a huge team effort and a massive family effort involved as well".

But in the last race, when they also made the better start, the loss of Outteridge overboard threw the crew and they were unable to get back up to speed and conceded defeat.

Whether SoftBank Team Japan do return to fulfil their sponsor's aim of bringing the cup to Japan may depend on who triumphs in this month's competition.

Barker said although no evidence of damage was detected, the time spent assessing the wings had disrupted the vital period usually spent gauging the conditions just before the race.

But he empathised with his Australian counterpart, having tumbled from the boat himself while Team New Zealand were preparing in Auckland. Skipper Russell Coutts handed the wheel to Barker, his understudy, for the clinching fifth race.

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