Land Rover BAR face New Zealand in the last four

Cheryl Sanders
June 5, 2017

They were latecomers to the competition, and their budget of 30 million euros (US$33.8 million) is significantly smaller than those of the other teams, whose outlay is closer to 100 million euros.

There's still plenty to get used to in this America's Cup.

Oracle sailed away for a 29 second win and now take a bonus point for winning the qualifying series into the America's Cup match.

Spithill also claimed there was a leak in the Kiwis camp, revealing he had prior knowledge that they would chose BAR as their semi-final opponents.

Sweden's Artemis Racing will take on SoftBank Team Japan in the other first-to-five wins semi-final.

It's just one of the radical departures from tradition in this America's Cup, which, perhaps fittingly, is being sailed on the northern tip of the Bermuda Triangle.

The schooner America won the first race and the trophy was subsequently renamed the America's Cup. Oracle will need to win only six races starting June 17 to retain its title.

The eventual victor of that stage of the competition will then become the official Challenger to Oracle Team USA for the 35th America's Cup.

Conditions suggest light-air masters Emirates Team New Zealand will set up a rematch with Oracle Team USA, but there will be no margin for error. Spithill said he didn't even know if he'd make it to the start line after the rudder mishap.

Ben Ainslie, the BAR skipper, who steered his team to victory against SoftBank Team Japan before losing to Oracle today, said the British syndicate were up for the challenge.

With lighter winds predicted over the next few days, each team will have to be at their sharpest to prevail in what will be a compelling series of races.

The Kiwis' task was made harder as they were handed a penalty as a result of the pre-start fight which allowed Oracle Team USA to build a slight lead by the gate 2 turn.

Around the bottom mark, the Kiwis did a neat gybe and rounding, again not losing any advantage and looking to go up the right-hand side of the course which has always looked to yield a good dividend in much of the racing that we have seen so far.

Turning back to his team's choice of Land Rover BAR, Burling explained that, "We believe with the forecasts over the coming week that it represents our best chance of progressing through". In addition to the New Zealand-USA showdown, Saturday's last day of round robin racing will feature Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR taking on both Japan and Oracle and Artemis taking on France.

The victory capped off a thrilling Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers which ended with Oracle Team USA topping the standings with nine points.

Groupama Team France finished their campaign with a loss to Artemis Racing.

The New Zealanders first won the America's Cup in 1995 in San Diego.

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