6 Jun 2017

Team NZ beat broken GB

1:59 pm on 6 June 2017

Great Britain lost two America's Cup semi-final races to Team New Zealand when the British team was forced to retire after a part in their 'wing' sail snapped today.

Team New Zealand racing Land Rover Bar in day 2 of qualifying races for the America's Cup. 28 May 017, Bermuda.

Photo: ACEA 2017 / Ricardo Pinto

The breakage means New Zealand immediately go two up in the best-of-nine semi-final, starting the second race on their own as Land Rover BAR's shore team scrambled to repair their boat.

"We have forfeited racing today due to damage to our wing, we will be back tomorrow (Wednesday) to fight another day," the British team said on Twitter.

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

The British skipper abruptly halted his 50-foot foiling catamaran to prevent further damage after completing only the second of seven legs in the widely-anticipated first race.

Ainslie said it was frustrating but they would come back again stronger tomorrow.

New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling had got the better of Ainslie at the start and led to the second mark of the course, but the British boat appeared to be catching them.

"We can't load the wing up at all... its a tough situation right now," Ainslie told BT Sport from his support boat as his technical team worked to get their catamaran back to base.

Conditions on Bermuda's Great Sound were perfect for the high-octane sailing boats following disappointment on Sunday when racing was postponed due to a lack of wind.

"A bit of a shame for those guys... it was shaping up to be a good race," New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling said in televised comments after the British crew retired.

The other semi-final - between Dean Barker's Japan and Artemis Racing of Sweden - resulted in one win each.

Barker said they were a bit out of phase on the shifts in their run and had a bad jibe at the bottom gate.

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

Spain's King Juan Carlos, left, with America's Cup Event Authoirity chief executive Russell Coutts.

Spain's King Juan Carlos, left, with America's Cup Event Authoirity chief executive Russell Coutts. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall