Wild conditions causes Kiwis to capsize against Land Rover BAR

Emirates Team New Zealand capsized against Land Rover BAR.  Picture: Gilles Martin-Raget/ America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand capsized against Land Rover BAR. Picture: Gilles Martin-Raget/ America's Cup
Sir Ben Ainslie. Picture: Lloyd Images

Bullish Ainslie back crew to step up

Race one before damage to the wing forced Land Rover BAR to retire

Sir Ben Ainslie: Land Rover BAR still believe despite damage to hopes

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There was huge drama on the Great Sound as Emirates Team New Zealand capsized at the start line in the fourth race of their Challenger Series play-off semi-final against Land Rover BAR.

The Kiwis’ vessel keeled over as the contest began and threw several of their sailors into the water.

It came after New Zealand won the first race against Britain comfortably.

Conditions were quite the opposite to what crews have been facing during the competition in Bermuda.

Winds were howling and the rain was pouring, which made it a challenge for all involved.

Thankfully, none of the New Zealand crew members were injured after their boat capsized.

However, the vessel suffered significant damage and Peter Burling & Co will likely be up for most of tonight making repairs.

It also meant the Kiwis were disqualified and gave Sir Ben Ainslie’s team their first win in the play-off semi-final to make the score 3-1 ahead of tomorrow’s action (6pm).

After the race, Ainslie revealed he could only think about helping the New Zealand boat as events unfolded.

He said: ‘We didn’t see the capsize itself because we come off the start line.

‘Thank god everyone was OK, as that’s the important thing in these situations.

‘What an incredible day of racing. In 30 years, I’ve never experienced anything like that.

‘We had a chat in the morning and said if anything goes wrong with another boat, we’ve got to stop and give every assistance.

‘Thankfully, everyone was fine on the Kiwi boat.’

Land Rover BAR started the day 2-0 down and were desperate for a good start.

The first to five wins progresses to the Challenger Series final.

Ainslie’s crew were ahead in the early stages of the first race and looked to be handling the testing conditions well.

However, New Zealand were patient in behind and waited for the British boat to make a mistake before swooping ahead.

SoftBank Team Japan have one foot in the challenger final.

They beat Sweden’s Artemis Racing twice and lead the contest 3-1.