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Race-by-race: Land Rover BAR handed lifeline

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RR2, Race 1: Emirates Team New Zealand bt Artemis Racing 1:31

This was the second meeting of Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing inside 24 hours, as the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers entered the second phase of the double round robin.

This was A chance of redemption for Artemis who lost yesterday on a contentious penalty call around the final mark.

The wind today was more from the west-northwest at 10.2 knots.

New Zealand had the port entry and entered ten seconds ahead of the Artemis boat. The Swedes started to windward and had more speed and passed New Zealand around the reaching mark to head downwind with a slight edge.

The Kiwis were sailing five knots faster on the right. But going up for a luff, they bounced into Artemis's wake and their weather rudder popped out of the water, forcing them to lose control. After the nosedive, the Swedes took the lead at the leeward mark.

One mistake equals 400 metres, but the Kiwis were reeling them back in up the right side. Artemis were clawed back to a five-second lead at the weather mark.

It was a bit of a drag race downwind. New Zealand trailed by 11 seconds but, sailing right on the edge between reliability and stability. their rudder popped up again just after the rounding.

The Kiwis got a port-starboard crossing advantage just below the windward mark and forced the Swedes away to miss their layline and to tack again for the mark. Artemis also copped another right-of-way penalty and had to give the New Zealand a two-boat-length lead when they headed around the windward mark and down to the finish.

New Zealand take their second win off Artemis in a very tight race where Team New Zealand stayed close to them and sailed faster upwind to the last windward mark, putting Artemis in a penalty bind that allowed them to take it home.

RR2, Race 2: Oracle Team USA bt Groupama Team France by 1:56

Oracle Team USA, the first defender to sail as part of the Qualifier round in the history of the Cup, continue to show their pedigree.

Oracle took control in the pre-start, staying well ahead between Groupama Team France and the line. Skipper Jimmy Spithill put France in a deep hole at the turning mark at the end of the reach.

Oracle rounded the leeward mark 31 seconds ahead, seemingly out for a Tuesday cruise. They looked very fast, smooth and relaxed. The Americans led at the third mark 1min 3sec and increased that to 1:30 agt the fourth mark — France were 825 metres behind going upwind.

Tom Slingsby was on the pedals behind Spithill going to the finish. Maybe he wanted to get his head up and watch.

RR2, Race 3: Land Rover BAR bt Artemis Racing by 0:30

Land Rover BAR have handed themselves a lifeline with this victory over a suddenly struggling Artemis Racing.

Sir Ben Ainslie's team were pushing Artemis from behind approaching the start with 15 seconds to go, so the Swedes had to slow down to about ten knots. BAR were able to increase speed and sail around Artemis to gain the lead at the first mark in the middle of the course. They led downwind and back up to the third mark.

BAR had a nice rounding, baring away high and dry. They looked sharp in comparison with the form that had brought four straight defeats.

Ainslie established a 24-second lead at the third mark and dropped only a second at the next.

More dry tacks from BAR heading upwind to the fifth mark kept Artemis covered and, without doing anything radical, a much calmer British outfit brought it home.

Groupama Team France are still out on the course practising in the light breeze.

Land Rover BAR turned around their poor run of form with a second victorty over Artemis Racing to complete the day's racing (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Emirates Team New Zealand scored their second win in two days over Artemis Racing this afternoon (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm (Updated May 30, 2017 at 5:01 pm)

Race-by-race: Land Rover BAR handed lifeline

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