Brits, Kiwis advance to next round in America's Cup prelims

Emirates Team New Zealand was impressive in their match with Land Rover BAR, with the British team eventually retiring to effect repairs on a new daggerboard, before her second race of the day against Groupama Team France.

Emirates Team New Zealand will compete against Britain's Land Rover BAR, Sweden's Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan over the coming days to decide who will be the challengers to Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup Match final.

Artemis further strengthened their position with a convincing win over Japan in the final race of the day.

Earlier Team New Zealand had finished the qualifying round-robin series as top qualifiers and picked Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team as their semifinal opponents.

Round robin: Oracle Team USA won the round and its bonus point, meaning it will start the America's Cup finals on June 17 ahead 1-0. After frustrating light winds on Thursday, conditions were flawless on the sound on Friday, with winds around 15 knots.

The New Zealand team will be looking to bounce back quickly from yesterday's demoralising loss to Team USA.

From there Kiwi skipper Peter Burling was always in control and the only question became whether they would manage to lap Ainslie's boat after leading by more than six minutes through the fourth mark.

The light wind speed made for challenging conditions but Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill produced a tactical masterclass to defeat SoftBank Team Japan in the third race of the day.

Qatar vows 'no surrender' in row with Arab states
He said Qatar needed to shut down or limit its Al-Jazeera news network, as well as stop funding extremist groups and others. Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani spoke to Tillerson and was due in Moscow on Saturday.

While a full day of racing is likely out of the picture, Artemis' Nathan Outteridge says there is a "25 per cent chance" of two races today.

In one of the many radical departures from tradition, this is the first time the defender has sailed against challengers in the preliminaries. But the Japanese boat ended up trailing Emirates Team New Zealand off the line and around mark one.

It's just one of the radical departures from tradition in this America's Cup, which, perhaps fittingly, is being sailed on the northern tip of the Bermuda Triangle.

Oracle, meanwhile, had to quickly fix a broken rudder before its race against Artemis Racing of Sweden.

“The shore guys still think theres quite a lot of gain to be had there, ” Spithill said. "It's a shame we couldn't reward them with a win, but it's good to know what we're capable of when it comes down to it".

In what could be a dress rehearsal in the race for the “Auld Mug”, Oracle responded superbly to the challenge posed by their much-fancied rivals and ruthlessly punished the Kiwis costly mistakes.

And although Japan's close ties to the USA defenders have raised some questions over independence, skipper and CEO Barker says they operate separately on key areas of designing and configuring their catamarans.

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