Sailing: Japan knocked out in America's Cup semifinal

The crash helped Great Britain's team to win their first race in a best-of-nine head-to-head series with New Zealand, part of a playo-ff series that will eventually determine who goes on to challenge the United States' Team Oracle for the America's Cup.

June 9 Years after losing the 2013 America's Cup to Oracle Team USA, disappointment was still etched on Dean Barker's face.

The eventual victor of the Challenger Finals will face two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in the 35th Americas Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton. "It was a great day for us to be able to repay the shore crew by getting it done with a day to go". Iain Percy [team manager and tactician] had a few words to the team and just reminded us to trust our gut, and to sail the boat to our capabilities.

For Burling and his crew, the incredible efforts the team made from Tuesday to Thursday to fix the boat that was so badly damaged in Tuesday's pitchpole were repaid handsomely, putting themselves into the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals as the first team to reach that stage.

The delay will come as a relief for Team NZ, handing them an extra day to get their boat back in shape and psychologically recover from the shock of yesterday's dramatic capsize.

Ainslie, a successful Olympic sailor, got the better of Burling at the start, ensuring a clean run over the line.

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New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling made the most of his boat's superior speed in opening the day with a victory that took his team's lead to 4-1.

SoftBank's hopes were dealt a blow shortly before Friday's race, when its boat struck an unidentified object in the water. The British lost the silver trophy to the schooner America in 1851 and have failed in multiple attempts to win it back.

"It's two big, well-supported teams going head to head", he said. Down to five crewmen, Artemis eased up. "It's been nice to have Japan back in the America's Cup", Barker said, declining to commit his own future.

In the first race, Artemis had the lead but Outteridge crossed the course boundary for an unforced error and had to slow to two boat lengths behind the Kiwis. When Japan slowed to clear the penalty, Artemis sailed way ahead.

"Given the fatal accident involving a British sailor, Andrew "Bart" Simpson, in a similar - albeit larger - foiling America's Cup catamaran four years ago, the sailing world held its breath".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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