Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Team NZ book showdown with Oracle

Team NZ book showdown with Oracle

But Burling said he and his crew would be up to the challenge, having escaped a frightening capsize in heavy winds in a challenger semi-final race with Britain's Land Rover BAR last week.

Upwind and downwind Aoteraoa had the measure of Artemis, with an average speed nearly three knots faster than the Swedish boat.

"We're here to bring the Cup back to New Zealand and that hasn't changed", Burling said.

While Outteridge has managed to get the team off to some stunning sling-shot starts, the team have struggled with consistency.

The Kiwis had a big lead on the sixth leg of Sunday's final race.

In this photo provided by the America's Cup Event Authority, Emirates Team New Zealand competes on the third day of the best-of-nine America's Cup challenger finals on Bermuda's Great Sound, M.

"I think the forecast is expect the unexpected today", Outteridge said on BT Sports television.

The Swedish crew skippered by Australian sailing star Outteridge and managed by British Olympian Iain Percy must win three races in a row to overhaul Burling's New Zealand and clinch the right to challenge the USA defenders.

"It's obviously a massive milestone for us as a team to be through to the Cup final, and be able to take on Oracle next week", he said.

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"Artemis Racing has been an incredible opponent".

Two crewmen were the first to move from the starboard hull to the port hull. But by that stage, Artemis Racing was a full 35-seconds behind.

It was pretty much the first question that Ashby faced, and he produced his usual mix of cheek and commonsense to answer it when he was quizzed how often the team had gone back over that defeat and what role it would play in their thinking over the next week or two. When it made it to the starting line, Artemis was swept in four races by Italy's Luna Rossa.

Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outteridge, an Australian who also has won Olympic gold and silver medals, will have to rally again to keep his syndicate alive.

But the wind held for the second race and after getting the better of Sweden's skipper Nathan Outteridge at the start, Burling, the youngest helmsman in the competition, sailed superbly to take the win from his long-time rival.

Artemis squared the ledger at 2-2 in the fourth race despite a awful tack when leading on the final upwind leg, but New Zealand won race five easily then race six by one second to seize control.

The crews, who are going head-to-head in their quest to take on America's Cup holders Oracle Team USA, have fought three fascinating duels in their catamarans. After the Kiwis reached match point, Oracle won eight straight races to retain the oldest trophy in global sports.

By the second mark, New Zealand's advantage was 17 seconds, but as the breeze dropped below the minimum limit for racing, both boats struggled to find enough puff to foil and barely made the third turn. Skipper Russell Coutts handed the wheel to Barker, his understudy, for the clinching fifth race.

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