Sailing - New Zealand pick Britain as America's Cup semi-final foe

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Spithill hailed the impact of Tom Slingsby, Oracles tactician, while taking a dig at Team New Zealands tactical set-up.

Emirates Team New Zealand look the team most likely to loosen Oracle Team USA's grip on the America's Cup in Bermuda, but there are fears that victory for New Zealand would throw plans for the event's future into disarray.

That's similar to what Oracle gained.

"We made some little errors and then learned a lot and we stayed out for a while afterwards to practice a few things that went wrong during the race and we are really happy with the few improvements we made afterwards".

“We need to be faster to win this Americas Cup.

Ainslie's four golds make him the most successful Olympic sailor of all-time but Burling is viewed as one of his sport's brightest rising stars, becoming the youngest 49er skipper to win gold alongside Blair Tuke in Rio a year ago.

As such, they will take a bonus point with them into the best-of-13 Cup Match, effectively the regatta final, later in the month. Oracle will need to win only six races starting June 17.

Under the protocol for the oldest trophy in global sport, challengers can buy a basic design packages for the one-design 50-foot (15 metre) foiling catamarans.

Team USA remained stuck on seven points as they were handed just their second defeat of the competition by Artemis Racing of Sweden.

"Every win you can get in the America's Cup ac match is extremely powerful and I'm very, very proud of the team to have held their own under some serious pressure today, both on and off the water, to get the job done today", Spithill said.

Spithill said he did not even know if he had make it to the start line after the rudder mishap.

So if the Kiwis beat Oracle on Saturday and eventually reach the match, it will start with a one-point advantage.

The true impact of cutting EPA's budget.

Team New Zealand had gathered momentum entering the winner-takes-all affair, leading Oracle by one point, but came off second best in their scrap in the final round-robin phase of qualifying. "Today was obviously a pretty good learning experience, we obviously weren't good enough out there, but we'll address that and come back stronger".

Oracle will now train on its own while the challengers sail their semifinals, which start Sunday, and finals.

An aggressive but perfectly executed and legal pre-start from Sir Ben Ainslie allowed Land Rover BAR to race clear of SoftBank Team Japan from the start line.

New Zealand skipper Peter Burling was the best of the challengers with eight wins and two defeats and had the choice of opponent in the play-offs - either Ainslie or rivals from Sweden or Japan.

Had Team New Zealand won Saturday's race, would have earned a bonus point if it made it through to the match.

The boat slowed but not sufficiently in the eyes of course umpires, who issued another penalty.

Oracle will sail against Land Rover BAR in the fourth and final race Saturday.