7 Jun 2017

Team NZ working to repair capsize damage

11:51 am on 7 June 2017

Team NZ's boat sustained quite a bit of damage in this morning's capsize, helmsman Peter Burling says, and they're unsure if they'll be back racing tomorrow.

The two boats were just through the start line in their fourth America's Cup challenger semi-final race against BAR when Team New Zealand nose-dived into the water.

Some crew were thrown into the water, and the boat suffered visible damage.

Team New Zealand said all sailors were accounted for and safe and the boat was righted and towed back to base. The top section of the wing was smashed with sections hanging off it.

Helmsman Peter Burling said the team was already working on the boat and was confident the damage would be repaired but they'll "wait and see" whether they'll be back on the water tomorrow.

"As a group of New Zealanders we are incredibly resilient," Burling said.

"We'll bounce back from this, and at some stage we'll get the boat back to 100 per cent."

The shore crew will work overnight on the huge job of getting the boat ready to race, Team NZ said.

Look back at the action as it unfolded here

At the post-race press conference, BAR helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie said New Zealand had to perform a deep bear away in order to clear the start.

He said the blustery conditions would have made it even harder.

"It looked like to me there was just a slight misjudgment on the angle but I think the rest of us aren't going to pass criticism. These boats are incredibly hard to sail.

"Thank God everyone is fine and I'm sure they'll be out racing tomorrow or the next day."

New Zealand leads 3-1 in the semi-final series, having won its first race of the day. The second was black-flagged, giving BAR the race.

Team New Zealand capsized just moments after crossing the start line.

Team New Zealand capsized just moments after crossing the start line. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The capsize came after an already dramatic morning for the team who'd had to replace a damaged wing shortly before their first race.

Conditions had deteriorated in Bermuda, with squalls sweeping the course, and Sweden's Artemis suffered damage in both races in the other semi-final pair.

Team NZ's shore crew struggled in strong winds to keep the big-winged catamaran steady as it was pulled by crane out of the water.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke repairing a broken wing section.

Peter Burling and Team New Zealand's shore crew work to replace a damaged wing before racing this morning. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Batons inside the wings transparent sections were visibly broken.

Helmsman Peter Burling and tactician Blair Tuke helped wrestle the old wing off the boat, as it was lifted away by a crane, and a replacement installed.

The team was saved by a delay to the first race of the day, which allowed it to get back out on the course with just minutes to spare.

Sir Ben Ainslie's BAR took an early lead for the first legs, but Team NZ got past and won comfortably, both boats rearing up at times as they struggled at speeds in excess of 44 knots.

In the other semi-final Softbank Team Japan beat Sweden's Artemis racing in both their encounters.

Artemis had to retire during the first race due to damage. In the second they were unable to overcome the rough conditions, Japan winning by 26 seconds to take a 3-1 led in their semi-final series.

-RNZ

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