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Burling up-beat after Team NZ capsize

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/06/2017

Team New Zealand should be able to repair the damage from their high-impact capsize on Bermuda's Great Sound and continue their America's Cup campaign, helmsman Peter Burling says.

The Kiwi boat capsized in high winds at the start of their semi-final race against Britain's BAR.

The six-man crew were all safe, despite some being catapulted into the water.

Other New Zealand crew members, including Burling, were left suspended in the upturned hull of their 50-foot catamaran until support boats could right the craft.

Burling was afterwards cautiously optimistic the Kiwis, who lead the best-of-nine semi-final 3-1, would be able to continue racing.

"The guys have taken the boat out and assessed the damage, of which we have quite a bit," he told media.

"We feel like we'll be able to repair it and get back into action.

"We'll bounce back from this."

Burling said the most important thing was that his crew were safe and sustained no major injuries.

"It's definitely a relief, when you see a few of them falling off, that you can see their heads above water and they're all fine."

Burling said Team New Zealand had yet to properly assess exactly what had caused the capsize, although winds were gusting near the maximum allowed for America's Cup racing.

"The winds were at the upper limit today, but that's all part of it," he said.

"We'll have to go over and review the footage - we're not quite sure what caused it yet.

"Just as we went to accelerate, we got really high and proceeded into a big bow-down trim."

Britain's Ben Ainslie had got the better of Burling in pre-start manoeuvres, getting a clean run at the start line. The New Zealand crew set off in pursuit but lost control of their catamaran and "pitch-poled" forwards.

The hulls were immersed and the towering wing sail tipped over them as it came to a halt.

The British crew had come through problems of their own, after suffering equipment failure on Monday when part of their wing controls broke and they had to forfeit two races to their New Zealand opponents.

In the day's other semi-final, Team Japan, skippered by New Zealander Dean Barker, took a 3-1 lead over Sweden after winning both their races.

The semi-final winners will go head-to-head to decide who gets to challenge holders Team USA for the America's Cup itself, starting on June 17.

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