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Team New Zealand capsizes in America's Cup challenger race

07 June 2017

New Zealand capsized on Tuesday at the start of their America's Cup semi-final race against Britain's Land Rover BAR, with the catamaran "pitch-poling" forwards and leaving some of its crew suspended in the hull metres above the water.

The Portsmouth-based team broke part of their wing during the first of their semi finals.

And at the end of it all a terrifying "pitchpole" for New Zealand which left their boat badly damaged, their young helmsman Peter Burling under vast pressure, and Ainslie's British team with a lifeline.

Were it not for the nosedive in the second race between the two, Team New Zealand would most likely be entering tomorrow with one foot in the qualification finals.

The winners are set to progress to the challenger final and whoever wins that takes on defending champions Team USA for the America's Cup itself.

Conditions were ideal for the high-octane sailing boats following disappointment on Sunday when racing was postponed because of a lack of wind.

Glenn Ashby closes in on berth in America's Cup final.

Team New Zealand merely had to start the second race and the race committee immediately black-flagged it, giving the Kiwis a 2-0 lead in the best-of-9 series.

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But the shore team will have a long night's work to fix the boat in time for Wednesday's two scheduled races.

"They're already working on repairs and getting us back out there".

Team New Zealand now have a colossal job on their hands, with the shore crew racing against the clock to get the boat in condition to be racing-ready once again.

Artemis Racing struggled to control their boat, at one point in their second race sailing off the course completely and incurring a penalty from which they could not recover. In 2013, he helped Oracle Team USA rebound from an 8-1 deficit to Team New Zealand by winning eight straight races to retain the oldest trophy in global sports. SoftBank grabbed first blood with a victory which left helmsman Dean Barker pleased at how his crew had managed challenging conditions.

The Japanese crew were also overhauled several times during the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifying event, which ended on Saturday, raising questions about their consistency.

The Kiwis had only to start the second race to pocket the point and they're happy to resume racing against the British tomorrow two up in the first-to-five series.

Artemis had to retire during the first race due to damage.

"It was pretty tough out there", Outteridge said.