Sport

Artemis Racing reaches America's Cup challenger finals

Artemis Racing reaches America's Cup challenger finals”

The Swedish syndicate has wrapped up its semi-final series 5-3, after beating Team Japan by 13 seconds in this morning's race.

The Kiwis won two of three races against Ainslie's Land Rover BAR on Bermuda's Great Sound to win the series 5-2 and advance to face the victor of the series between Sweden's Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan.

Going into the last day of the Qualifiers last Saturday June 3 Emirates Team New Zealand were leading Defending Champion Oracle Team USA by 1 point with a head to head race between the two teams to play.

The win completed a rebound from a 3-1 deficit and represented a big step in Artemis' road back from the tragic death of British Olympic star Andrew "Bart" Simpson during the buildup to the 2013 America's Cup. "The boys really dug deep". Down to five crewmen, Artemis eased up. We have improved the boat and improved the performance, but we still have more to come, and we know we can get faster.

In only two years the team launched three race boats, built a new base in Bermuda, brought together a team of over 50, and advanced to within two race wins of the Challenger Playoff Finals.

Team Sweden had probably provided Emirates Team NZ their toughest competition of any challenging team through the early rounds of the regatta, unlucky to lose one head-to-head encounter through an umpire error and forced into another costly penalty in the return match. I think the great thing about our team is that we are constantly improving.

Some of the crews competing in Bermuda for the "Auld Mug" have a greater Olympic concentration than others and Groupama Team France, with only one on board, was eliminated in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers.

Ainslie said the Brits weren't able to catch up with established teams.

Artemis and Team New Zealand will race three times again tomorrow morning.

He said if he had not slipped they would have won the race and be in the lead. Divers couldn't find any damage, but Barker said the team lost valuable preparation time.

"What an advert for this new style of America's Cup racing".

Three more races are scheduled for Sunday.

This was another painful loss for Barker.

The British and Swedish crews each have a total of eight medals, the New Zealand Team seven, Japan two and the USA one.



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