Semi-finals delayed by light winds

Kristopher Nichols
June 9, 2017

Oracle Team USA top the standings with seven points with Emirates Team New Zealand second on six, Land Rover BAR third on five and SoftBank Team Japan fourth on three points.

Artemis and Dean Barker's Softbank Team Japan are the other pair, and the two winners are due to meet in the Challenger Finals next Sunday morning.

The Kiwis spent 100 per cent of the race “flying” across the water, with that mark long considered the holy grail of this style of Americas Cup Class boat.

Emirates Team New Zealand, who have already qualified for the challengers' semi-final, are seeking to top the qualifying round robin event.

But even if the French crew win that race, an inferior track record in the pre-event series means they can not beat the other crews seeking to challenge Oracle Team USA. The British team have performed well in these conditions during last week's America's Cup qualifiers, but Jones said Team NZ are also pretty happy with their speed shown in that range.

In this photo provided by the America's Cup Event Authority, Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama Team France (not shown) compete during America's Cup qualifying on the Great Sound in Bermuda on Friday, June 2, 2017.

In the meantime, they will be looking at flying in a team of boat builders and components to make further changes in their quest for speed, Spithill said at a televised briefing. "The boys are pumped up for it".

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They have looked dominant in recent days and lifted it another level in ideal winds of 13-15 knots on the Great Sound on Saturday. After frustrating light winds on Thursday, conditions were flawless on the sound on Friday, with winds around 15 knots.

The initial pre-start duel was won by Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA and from there victory never looked in doubt. "We want to be there at the starting line next time", Cammas added.

But they could not repeat the feat against Oracle Team USA and the US crew, with a win over Ben Ainslie's British team, finished top of the qualifier table.

"It's great we have an opportunity to race with a bit more pressure tomorrow", Burling said. The Kiwis reached match point at 8-1, but what could have been the deciding race was abandoned as the time limit expired on a fluky day on San Francisco Bay.

The hapless French had no answer to the sheer pace and control of Emirates Team New Zealand, the Kiwi boat achieving the first official "perfect" race foiling right around the track for a 100 per cent fly-time to win by 4:06. "We know that, our competitors know that".

A broken rudder during race preparations made for a chaotic start for Oracle.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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