Six lessons from the America's Cup qualifiers


Six lessons from the America's Cup qualifiers

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.

"We've made a decision to face Ben because we believe, with the forecast over the coming week, that's our best chance of progressing forward", he said.

Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan all secured their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs, while Groupama Team France bow out of the 35th America's Cup with their heads held high.

On Saturday, Oracle Team USA won the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifier event in Bermuda, beating Emirates Team New Zealand and giving the US holders a bonus point for the final.

While a full day of racing is likely out of the picture, Artemis' Nathan Outteridge says there is a "25 per cent chance" of two races today. We wanted that point.it created this real hunger for everyone.

Light winds postponed the scheduled start of the America's Cup challenger semi-finals on Sunday, but the one-day delay could be good news for Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR.

Two impressive victories over Emirates Team New Zealand ensured the holders grabbed a valuable point ahead of the start of the America's Cup proper.

Team NZ won eight of their 10 races while the British boat managed only four wins, failing to match their lofty pre-regatta expectations.

But the Japanese team chased them round Bermuda's Great Sound and were penalised after a close call between them.

Team New Zealand crossed ahead of Oracle on the third leg but Spithill squeezed through the gate mark in the lead.

"Team NZ have proven through this qualifying round to be sailing really well and very fast over all the range of conditions, so for us, it will be a real battle", he said.

Statistics show the British team are the best off the start line, but poor boat speed and a habit of picking up unwelcome penalties has cost them heavily.

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

With a two week break from race action ahead, helmsman Jimmy Spithill and his team will continue to develop their boat and be ready to face the eventual victor of the Challenger Playoffs. A poor tack cost Dean Barker's Japan more time and New Zealand were never threatened, winning by 51 seconds in a race that saw them up on their hydrofoils for 99.6 percent of the distance.

Oracle, seeking a third successive America's Cup title here, have two weeks off from competitive action to await the victor of the challenger series.