America's Cup challenger final series: Team New Zealand v Artemis

Hope Soto
June 15, 2017

Sweden's Team Artemis completed its remarkable comeback to eliminate SoftBank Team Japan from the America's Cup Challenger semifinal series on Friday and set up a showdown with Emirates Team New Zealand.

Outteridge slipped and flew off the boat as the crew changed sides while the 50-foot foiling catamaran was turning while going about 27 knots on the fifth of seven legs.

Grinder Luke Parkinson quickly jumped behind the wheel, but the slipup was enough to allow Kiwi skipper Peter Burling to sail off to victory.

Outteridge was left stranded in the water, from where he was later picked up by a support boat.

Crucially, Outteridge and Artemis appear to have built momentum at the business end of the competition, and the 31-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medalist promised no let up against New Zealand.

But after making a crucial error in the first race and allowing New Zealand to get past them, Artemis Racing sailed a near ideal race in their second encounter to level the series.

Three more races are scheduled for Sunday.

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In the first race Burling was able to climb back courtesy of two Artemis errors - a miss-timed tack and a penalty for the for crossing the boundary line. Both teams have had to overcome problems in their quest to become the challenger to America's Cup holder Oracle Team USA.

The eventual victor of the Challenger Finals will face two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in the 35th Americas Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

Gritty Team New Zealand will give themselves a pat on the back for beating Great Britain but there won't be much celebration as they eye the bigger goals in front of them in Bermuda.

Very little separated two evenly matched teams who were locked at 1-1 in the overall series when disaster struck Artemis and virtually handed the Kiwis the match.

"We're absolutely stoked, that was a tough race", Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outteridge said on BT Sport immediately after clinching the series 5-3.

Burling didn't think Artemis would be ahead 2-1 if Outteridge hadn't gone into the drink, saying the team's cycling grinders were still on top of their game.

"That was obviously the key moment", an elated Outteridge said of the way the race unfolded in high winds and choppy seas. “And were going to be ready to go tomorrow.”.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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