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Team NZ to race Swedes in final

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/06/2017

Team New Zealand must overcome the Swedish syndicate in the challengers final if they are to race off for the America's Cup in Bermuda.

The Swedes completed a comeback in their semi-final to beat Team Japan 5-3, having trailed their best-of-nine series 3-1.

Headed by Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge, they powered back to notch four successive wins.

The best-of-nine final will start on Sunday (NZT), with the winners to then challenge holders Team USA in a best-of-13 Cup Match.

Top qualifiers Team NZ, who beat Britain's BAR 5-2 in their semi-final, notched two wins from two over Sweden in the qualifying phase.

However, the first of those results was tinged with controversy.

The Swedes powered clear over the closing stages but were penalised, for not allowing the Kiwis enough room at the top mark, a decision race officials later admitted they got wrong.

The Swedes have continued to show good speed but it was a tactical move which proved the difference in race eight against Team Japan.

Japanese skipper Dean Barker, having given his boat the early advantage, made a late tack on the third leg which left the door open for Outteridge's boat to push past.

Former Team NZ skipper Barker was philosophical following his team's exit.

"I'm disappointed not to be going into the final but we're very proud of what this team has achieved," he said.

"We didn't get a break in very challenging conditions."

Barker confirmed their boat hit an unknown object as it made its way to the start line but was unsure if any damage was sustained.

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