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Confident Artemis book final challenger spot

Let’s shake on it: Artemis Racing are through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals after victory over SoftBank Team Japan today (Photograph by Gilles Martin-Raget/&Copy; ACEA 2017)

Semi-final 2, Race 8: Artemis Racing bt SoftBank Team Japan by 0:13

After three successive wins yesterday in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals, Artemis Racing have the momentum and the breezy conditions of 18 to 25 knots could be in their favour.

It has also just emerged that Team Japan hit an unknown object on the surface of the water on the way to the start and may have damaged their boat.

Hardly ideal before a do-or-die race.

It’s a better start for Team Japan. Boy, did they need that after a pair of poor starts yesterday by Dean Barker, the skipper.

Slight error there by Barker; the boat touched down and they lost a few seconds. Team Japan still ahead, though, as they head into the third leg.

Barker’s boat keeps touching the water. Did that earlier incident damage their foils? That would be heartbreaking for Barker and his crew.

Team Japan get themselves in a bit of a mess and Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, makes them pay with a tight overtaking manoeuvre.

That could be absolutely critical.

There is some serious pressure on Team Japan now as the Swedes have a healthy lead. Artemis have the bit between their teeth and are flying!

Barker doesn’t appear to be making any gains on their rivals.

Something has to change here and change quickly if Team Japan are to keep their America’s Cup dream alive.

Barker’s team were 3-1 up but Artemis have finally discovered their consistency over the past two few days.

Oracle Team USA, the defender, and Emirates Team New Zealand, who advanced to the Challenger Play-off Finals yesterday, will certainly be watching with interest.

Team Japan have managed to close the gap but it doesn’t appear to be enough. They just don’t have sufficient firepower.

It’s game over for Barker. Team Japan’s campaign is over.

That’s tough to take for Barker who would have desperately loved to have battled his old friends at Team New Zealand for the right to face Oracle.

Outteridge is apparently “stoked”. Great bit of Aussie slang there by the Artemis helmsman.

The next round should be intriguing, with Artemis in this type of flow. Team New Zealand, beware!

Artemis Racing bt SoftBank Team Japan 5-3