America's Cup challenger races postponed due to high wind

The Race Committee goes to check conditions on the Great Sound Wednesday

The Race Committee goes to check conditions on the Great Sound Wednesday

Then came Outteridge and another crewman.

"Just as I was crossing the centre of the boat, we straightened the turn, which had me sliding off the aft beam and into the water". Outteridge and Iain Jensen, an Artemis crewman, won the gold medal in the 49er class in the 2012 Olympics, with Burling and Blair Tuke, also a Team New Zealand crewman, taking the silver.

"Once I resurfaced, I looked up and made a little prayer to wish the guys the best of luck, and hoped they could make the cross and pull off a couple of gybes". "That's definitely the first thing that goes through your mind when you have those incidents, to make sure the whole crew's safe".

"The main goal will be to stay on the boat from now on".

"I've dried out a little bit, but apart from that, I'm fine", Outteridge told the post-race press conference afterwards.

He was fortunate that he wasn't injured.

Some of the crews competing in Bermuda for the "Auld Mug" have a greater Olympic concentration than others and Groupama Team France, with only one on board, was eliminated in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers.

One of the four Challenging teams (along with Oracle Team USA) who have signed up to the Framework - a secret post competition agreement covering the 36th and 37th America's Cups - are expected to be invited to work up with the Defender.

Both teams have had to overcome problems in their quest to become the challenger to America's Cup holder Oracle Team USA.

Team New Zealand twice defeated the Swedish syndicate in the qualifying phase.

The exclusion, while not unexpected, did not bother Emirates Team New Zealand who was back on the dock by 11.00 - and prior to that could sail where they liked on the Great Sound, invitation from the Defender or not. With Artemis ruling the start box in all three races, the Kiwis found themselves playing catch up all day.

New Zealand showed the same slick consistency they have done throughout the challenger series, keeping their 50-foot (15 metre) foiling catamaran above the water for much of the time.

Team New Zealand are left to assess the damage to the multi-million pound catamaran ahead of the remainder of the series, though a forecast for stronger wind could see racing cancelled, buying the Kiwis some extra recovery time.

In the first race, Barker was over the starting line early and had to slow to two lengths behind Artemis to clear the penalty. The Kiwis said they would have been ready for racing Wednesday, but got a break when high winds postponed racing until Thursday. Outteridge's swim took some of the shine off what's developing into an incredibly close contest between two very evenly matched teams.

With the two boats roughly level mid-race, Sweden's Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge slipped and went overboard while moving across the boat.

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