The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals are set to return today (Thursday 7th June) with the rerun of Wednesday’s four postponed races, plus an additional two races, due to take place on the Great Sound.
The decision to postpone racing, made by America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), the independent organisation responsible for the rules and regulations of America’s Cup racing, was taken due to the sea-state and wind speeds on Bermuda’s Great Sound racecourse exceeding the 24 knot speed limit agreed by all six America’s Cup teams.
However, with winds predicted to be within the required 6-24 knot range needed to race on Thursday, the four teams competing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals; Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR, Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan, Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand and Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis Racing, are set to resume their battles with each other today.
The forced break in the schedule would have come as a welcome relief to Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand who faced a nervy race against the clock to be ready for action on Wednesday, following their dramatic capsize on Tuesday.
The question still remains in what state their boat will be able to return to the water today when they have three more races scheduled against Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR, but their chances will have been greatly improved following a further day for their shore crew to make required repairs.
Sir Ben Ainslie’s team currently trail the Kwis 3-1 in the battle to the first-to-five points needed to progress through to The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals.
Another team with a firm advantage heading into today is Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan who hold a 3-1 lead over Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis Racing, with the pair set to lock horns again.
Equal on a point apiece heading into Tuesday’s races, Dean Barker’s experience ultimately proved pivotal on Tuesday as he steered his SoftBank Team Japan team to back-to-back victories, taking a big step towards securing their progression in the 35th America’s Cup.
That progression will be secured today (Thursday) if Barker can mastermind a repeat of Tuesday’s victories, with just two more points needed to win through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals.
In contrast, Outteridge and Artemis Racing will be desperate to turn the tide and keep their hopes of booking a place the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Final alive.
Semi-Final 1 Race 5: Emirates Team New Zealand v. Land Rover BAR 2:08 pm
Semi-Final 1 Race 5: Artemis Racing v. SoftBank Team Japan 2:37 pm
Semi-Final 1 Race 6: Land Rover BAR v. Emirates Team New Zealand 3:06 pm
Semi-Final 1 Race 6: SoftBank Team Japan v. Artemis Racing 3:35 pm
Semi-Final 1 Race 7: Land Rover BAR v. Emirates Team New Zealand 4:05 pm
Semi-Final 1 Race 7: SoftBank Team Japan v. Artemis Racing 4:35 pm