America's Cup race conditions were within safe limits

Cup Event Authority Emirates Team New Zealand and Great Britain's Land Rover BAR compete compete

The winners of the two semi-finals will go head-to-head to decide who gets to challenge holders Oracle Team USA for the America's Cup itself, starting on June 17.

As the highest scoring challenger during the qualifier round which ended on Saturday, Emirates Team New Zealand chose Ainslie's team as their semifinal opponents, leaving Sweden's Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan to compete in the other.

"We were really pleased with the way we got away in that first race", said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby".

THE FIRST day of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup play-off semi finals kicked off on the Great Sound in Bermuda with flawless sailing conditions.

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The mayhem came a day after Ainslie was forced to retire from two races because of serious damage to his wing sail. “We feel like we will be able to fix it and get back into action.”.

As a result, Peter Burling's team only had to cross the start line in the scheduled third race of the afternoon to clinch victory and take a two-point advantage over the British team in the process.

The British boat trails New Zealand 3-1 in the best-of-nine series but they have the chance to draw level should they win both of Thursday's races. "But all of us sitting here aren't going to pass criticism", the British sailing star said during a news conference. We were just trying to get off the start clean.

Japan took a 2-1 lead over Sweden when the struggling Artemis retired from their first race of the day.

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Team NZ 's boat on its side and its crew in the water. The race was black-flagged, allowing the Kiwis to collect a point without sailing the whole course. "This was a breakdown we haven't experienced before and we've sailed in stronger conditions than we had today".

Ultimately, that mistake was to prove pivotal as Burling held his nerve in the final stages and crossed the finish line 24 seconds ahead of his rival, taking another step closer to the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs Final.

Once the damage is assessed the shore crew will work through the night to get the boat ready to race. "Obviously we won't have a spare and if we do have another issue, we are up against it then".

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