Ainslie retires from America's Cup trials race with damage

Ainslie retires from America’s Cup trials race with damage

Captain Ben Ainslie's crew was forced to throw in the towel after hearing a "bang" during what was set up to be a tight first race against New Zealand.

“One thing is for sure, as a group of New Zealanders, we are incredibly resilient, the first race showed that, ” Burling said. It was panning out to be a full on day with both teams sailing at the limits hitting speeds in excess of 45 knots.

They sailed with composure, overtaking BAR mid-race and hanging on to take their series lead to 3-0. But it took them almost two hours to get their boat back to shore before the grim task of piecing it back together could begin.

He's struggled for speed on his 50-foot foiling catamaran and been involved in three crashes, including a spectacular one on the first day of the qualifiers that nearly sank his boat.

Team New Zealand skipper Peter Burling said it's "never something you want to look across at your competitor and know they've got some pretty serious damage on board. Certainly the most exciting and exhilarating racing I've ever been involved in, in my life", said the Land Rover BAR helmsman.

"If they were going to race tomorrow, which is most unlikely, they'd be out there on the start line".

"It's so physical and if you even get just one manoeuvre wrong it puts you on the back foot for the rest of the race".


The first team to win five races in each semi-final will go through to the challenger final.

After the race, Burling confirmed that all six sailors were unharmed, bar some cuts and bruises, and that the team's shorecrew were immediately starting work to fix their damaged yacht.

Under pressure, Dean Barker made a costly and ultimately crucial mistake, tacking poorly to all but end SoftBank Team Japan's challenge and hand the advantage to Artemis Racing.

"Obviously for us it is great to take the two points and enjoy what proved an easy day for us".

America's Cup challenger series racing looks likely to be postponed as high winds continue to batter Bermuda.

Glenn Ashby closes in on berth in America's Cup final.

When Burling and his crew capsized Ainslie immediately ordered his chase boat to assist the stricken yacht as the umpires cancelled the race.

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