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Principale » Ben Ainslie's GB crew dig deep to earn America's Cup play-off place

Ben Ainslie's GB crew dig deep to earn America's Cup play-off place

16 Juin 2017

Earlier on Saturday, the USA crew beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifier event, guaranteeing themselves a bonus point when the racing for the cup begins on June 17 in Bermuda.

Oracle Team USA matched Emirates Team New Zealand on eight points out of 10 by winning the race and, with a superior finish in a previous event and a race in hand, they are guaranteed top spot on the leaderboard.

America's Cup Qualifiers: From May 27 to June 3, all six America's Cup teams - yes, that includes the Defender - will compete in a double round robin match race series where each competitor races every other team twice - a total of ten races each. Ainslie helped Oracle Team USA rally to defend the America's Cup in 2013 before starting his own campaign, which has the backing of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Ainslie's bid to qualify for the main event had been delayed after light winds forced the postponement of racing on Wednesday.

The move paid off with Team USA finding some wind, they overtook Team Japan and went on to win the race.

"We obviously weren't good enough out there today", said Burling, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals.

Imagine if the World Cup final started with one team ahead by a goal.

It was an early advantage that the British team built on steadily over over the first three legs of the race, with smooth sailing keeping them clear of Dean Barker's team.

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They are very fast and so for us it will be a real battle.

What New Zealand want is winds like they had last week.

"We struggled in the light wind trying to get up on our foils, particularly downwind".

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 Americans fought back to beat the Kiwis 9-8 in the last America's Cup four years ago in San Francisco after overcoming an 8-1 deficit.

Also Saturday, the British boat beat Team Japan and Artemis Racing beat Groupama Team France, which was eliminated Friday.

Had Team New Zealand won Saturday's race, it would have earned a bonus point if it made it through to face Oracle. The victor will face Oracle, which is racing in the preliminaries even though its place in the final is guaranteed as the defending champion.

Spithill hailed the impact of Tom Slingsby, Oracles tactician, while taking a dig at Team New Zealands tactical set-up.