One step at a time for Team New Zealand

by Steven Clarke June 15, 2017, 1:41

But Team New Zealand's helmsman Peter Burling disagreed, he said despite being behind when Outteridge fell overboard he thought New Zealand would have won the race.

The victor of this series moves on to face two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 35th America's Cup match starting next Saturday.

The challenger final resumes on Sunday with three more races.

Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outteridge feared for his safety when he was nearly run over by Team NZ on the Great Sound off Bermuda.

Sofuku continued, echoing Barker as he reflected on the achievements of the young Japanese challenge drawing upon his 20+ years of experience as Japan's leading America's Cup sailor.

Team New Zealand won both races against Artemis in the round robins.

Artemis Racing of Sweden has clinched a spot in the America's Cup challenger finals by beating SoftBank Team Japan for the fourth straight race.

"We wouldn't have been in as good a shape as it was today, that's for sure", he said when asked if they could have raced on Thursday. With not enough time to get the boat back to dock for an inspection, divers had to check on the boat in the water. Down to five crewmen, Artemis eased up. "I think had I not fallen off in that last race, it would have been 2-1, so a bit disappointed there but very happy with the overall performance today".

Artemis held a 4-3 advantage going into yesterdays penultimate match, but had to dig deep after a poor start left them trailing behind Team Japan over the first two legs.

"That was obviously the key moment", an elated Outteridge said of the way the race unfolded in high winds and choppy seas. Percy won a gold medal in the Finn class in the 2000 Games.

This was another painful loss for Barker. "We are here to win the next series and then bring the cup home to New Zealand", Burling said, reflecting the understated nature of the Kiwi campaign from the outset of this controversial cycle of sport's oldest contest.

Team New Zealand twice defeated the Swedish syndicate in the qualifying phase.

Asked if he felt Team New Zealand could win the Louis Vuitton Cup and earn the right to take on Oracle Team USA again for the America's Cup, Burling didn't back away. Skipper Russell Coutts handed the wheel to Barker, his understudy, for the clinching fifth race.

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