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Team NZ fourth in Chicago

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/06/2016

Team New Zealand's overall lead in the America's Cup World Series has increased despite missing the podium in the sixth round on Lake Michigan.

The Kiwis, who were fourth in Chicago, now sit 10 points clear of second-placed Sir Ben Ainslie's Team BAR and Oracle Team USA, both on 285 points.

Artemis Racing are fourth overall with 262 points after sailing their most consistent regatta of the series to win the Chicago event with a 2-2-1-4 scoreline.

Team New Zealand opened the final day's racing with a fourth place followed by a fifth, then produced back-to-back thirds to finish fourth overall.

Going into the event, the Kiwis held an eight-point lead over Oracle, and skipper Glenn Ashby said it was possibly their toughest regatta yet.

"It was really tough out there - the wind was up and you look along the start line and there are no easybeats.

"We've been saying it all along, and the results of this regatta show just how good all of the teams are.

"We finished fourth, you are never satisfied with that, but if there is any consolation we managed to beat Oracle again, and increase our lead overall so that's good."

The wind swung around overnight to the north, blowing down Lake Michigan as blustery 12-14 knots gusting up to 20 knots.

Helmsman Peter Burling said the day had been challenging.

"The racing was super tight, we had a pretty tough day and a few things didn't quite swing our way which we were hoping would.

"We have done such a small amount of training in these boats,it is super hard to put together a consistent performance in such tight racing," he said.

Two more regattas are scheduled, the next in Portsmouth on July 23-24 while the eight-event series concludes in Toulon, France, on September 10-11.

The America's Cup qualifiers and challenger playoffs are provisionally scheduled for May 26-June 12 in Bermuda next year.

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