Oracle goes 2-1 to take lead in America's Cup qualifiers

Posted June 02, 2017

Having suffered their first defeat of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers earlier in the day, ORACLE TEAM USA responded brilliantly in the twelfth and final race of the afternoon, cruising to a comfortable win over SoftBank Team Japan.

For a second consecutive race on Sunday, ORACLE TEAM USA trailed off the starting line, this time following Artemis Racing around the first mark and through the first downwind gate.

It was not all bad news for the US crew, however, with a win in the head-to-head between former team mates Jimmy Spithill and Land Rover BAR skipper Ben Ainslie.

Struggling Land Rover BAR has three points, followed by Artemis, SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France with two points apiece.

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Team Japan skipper Dean Barker joked that Ben Ainslie was going to bring his team a peace offering following their collision in the opening day of the America's Cup.

It was just the first day of the most famous sailing event on the planet, but it might just be the most dramatic, with the British Team Ben Ainslie Racing's boat nearly crushing Team Japan's sailors during a sickening collision.

"Today showed just how hard racing can be out there", Artemis skipper Outteridge said on Sunday, the prestigious sailing event's second day.

Slater said that as the boats were approaching the gate mark, "our job is to be certain that Artemis Racing were keeping clear, and we weren't at that time certain they were keeping clear".

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New Zealand and BAR already had history before this meeting - BAR damaged their opponents' boat with a "love tap" at the start in practice two weeks ago - and this latest encounter also featured its share of controversy even before they began racing.

Although the wind was shifty and died slightly towards the end, conditions in Bermuda's Great Sound were once again ideal, with the flat water allowing the boats with their towering "wing" sails to "fly" on their foils. “Its just a shame we couldnt repay that work with some wins today, ” he said. "They worked two years for that".

Artemis will face Ainslie's Land Rover BAR in the third race scheduled. "It didn't happen last night, so I'm guessing' he'll probably do it tonight".

From then on, Team New Zealand were clinical in extending their lead all the way around the track, eventually finishing 1:28 ahead. When we got back here and went down on the hull, very quickly it began filling with water.

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"We will regroup and come back strong and come back fighting".