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Dramatic nosedive halts New Zealand’s momentum

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Emirates Team New Zealand capsizes in race four of their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-final against Land Rover BAR (Photograph by Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA/AP)

Emirates Team New Zealand’s campaign has suffered a significant setback after their boat capsized in race two against Land Rover BAR in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs.

The Kiwis, who comfortably won the opener to take a 3-0 lead, flipped over in spectacular fashion before the start of the race after an error by Peter Burling, the team’s helmsman.

As the Kiwis approached the start line, they appeared to get too high on their foils and took a nosedive before toppling over in the ferocious seas on the Great Sound.

Some of the crew were thrown overboard, while others, including Burling, remained trapped in the vessel as it teetered upright while they waited for the safety boat to arrive.

“We sustained quite a bit of damage but the most important thing for us is that all of the guys are safe,” Burling said.

“There are no major injuries and that’s definitely a relief when you can a see a few of them falling off.

“New Zealanders are quite resilient and we feel we will be able to repair the damage and get back on the water.”

The Kiwis also endured a problematic start to day two of the semi-finals after cracking the boat’s wing in practice and had to switch to their replacement moments before the start. It is likely that their second wing has now suffered substantial damage.

In the other semi-final, SoftBank Team Japan enjoyed a pair of comfortable victories over Artemis Racing. The Japanese team now have a two-race lead in their best-of-nine series.