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Kiwis beat British to reach America's Cup challenger finals

Team New Zealand will face either Artemis or Dean Barker's Team Japan in the final - with the victor advancing to face Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup final.

Artemis Racings man overboard drill was put to the test as team skipper Nathan Outteridge lost his footing and fell into the water on day one of the Louis Vuitton Americas Cup Challenger Play-off Finals on the Great Sound today.

The victor will meet two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 35th America's Cup match starting June 17. "The boys really dug deep".

"We will be back next time and we will be stronger", said Ainslie, who added that sponsors Land Rover and 11th Hour Racing have already re-signed for the next campaign.

If Oracle Team USA or Artemis Racing win, a framework has been agreed among five of the teams for taking it through to the next event, once again in the high-octane foiling catamarans which have proved popular with sailors and broadcasters.

The sailors escaped unharmed but the boat suffered extensive damage, leaving the shore crew with a massive job to get Aotearoa back on the water for racing tomorrow.

Artemis skipper Outteridge atoned for a poor day on Wednesday to move within one win of the Challenger final after starting the day 3-1 down. Oracle Team USA prevailed and also beat Land Rover BAR in their 2nd race to finish on top of the standings.

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"The main emotion I feel right now is huge pride in what we've achieved over two years", said Barker.

Burling said the team were still assessing the damage - and the precise cause of the mishap.

Ainslie said it appeared Burling made a slight misjudgment on rake and angle.

Artemis Racing was a new syndicate four years ago but was devastated when Simpson was killed when its 72-foot catamaran broke apart during a training run in May 2013.

There are three races scheduled for Sunday. Percy won a gold medal in the Finn class in 2000 Games.

The result takes Team New Zealand once step closer to a Cup Match with Team USA, with a ideal showing on Sunday - in the lighter breezes forecast for Bermuda - enough to send them through. With not enough time to get the boat back to dock for an inspection, divers had to check on the boat in the water.

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