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Challenger Play-off semi-finals take centre stage

Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR will have their hands full with Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Challenger Play-off Semi-finals

Welcome to Race Day 8 of the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton.

This is the first day of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Play-off semi-finals. Two races will be held today in each of two brackets in this first best-of-nine knockout round.

Peter Burling, helmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand, announced yesterday that based on weather forecasts for the coming days, the New Zealand team have picked Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR as their opponents in the semi-finals. That leaves Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan to match up in the other bracket.

Groupama Team France have been eliminated from the competition. Oracle Team USA step out of the play-off competition, taking a point into the America’s Cup Match, and now have equal access to the racecourse each day to train and keep improving.

Wind forecasts for today’s racing are varied between models. One says seven knots from the north at 2pm, another says seven going to four knots, and still another predicts four going to three knots. But this is Bermuda, so we wait and see what happens on the Great Sound.

Racing schedule

Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR (2.08pm)

Artemis Racing v SoftBank Team Japan (2.37pm)

Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (3.06pm)

SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (3.35pm)


Day 7

At the end of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Oracle Team USA emerged on top, earning the valuable extra point that will be applied as a -1 to their eventual opponents, but the Oracle result came down to their final match against Emirates Team New Zealand.

In their final race, Groupama Team France showed their appreciation to Bermuda, Merci Bermuda on their wing sail during the race against Artemis Racing.

Merci Groupama Team France, merci.