Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge feared a pitch-pole capsize in his race with Team Japan video

Artemis rides the rough waves in Bermuda during the America's Cup challenger series semifinals.
RICARDO PINTO/ ACEA 2017

Artemis rides the rough waves in Bermuda during the America's Cup challenger series semifinals.

Swedish skipper Nathan Outteridge feared a similar incident to Team New Zealand's capsize in the America's Cup race immediately before the Kiwis' demise.

On a day of survival conditions with winds hitting the upper safety limits of 24 knots, the resilience of boats and crew were severely tested on Bermuda's Great Sound.

All four boats suffered damage, but none like Team New Zealand who were spectacularly pitch-poled while accelerating on to their foils chasing Great Britain off the start line.

Outteridge didn't seem surprised at what eventually happened in that fourth and fateful final race of the day.

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Artemis and Team Japan duel in rough seas during the America's Cup challenger series semifinals.
RICARDO PINTO/ ACEA 2017

Artemis and Team Japan duel in rough seas during the America's Cup challenger series semifinals.

The Australian at the helm of Artemis Racing, said he had earlier taken evasive action because he was worried Team Japan were about to be pitch-poled in front of him after turning the first mark at speeds of around 42 knots and submerging.

"I saw their incident and we had plenty of close moments ourselves," Australian Outteridge said when asked his thoughts on Team New Zealand's costly tumble that resulted in serious boat damage but, fortunately, no injuries.

"We had a little nose stuff at the first mark and I looked up and saw them (Team Japan) about a boat-length ahead with their boat under water too, so we bailed out of that situation and turned up and stopped which eventually put us out of bounds.

Recap: America's Cup helmsmen's news conference after Team NZ capsize.

"But I was a bit nervous they were going to do something like Pete did right in front of us and we were going to go on top of them. Our reflex was to get out of that situation."

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Sweden's boat finished the day with a fair bit of tape holding together expensive carbon-fibre fairings that were ripped away by the combined force of the winds and water surging over the front beam. But he revealed there were more serious issues aboard that had handicapped them as they lost both races to Japan who now lead their series 3-1.

Outteridge said he had lost confidence in the flight control systems on his boat at times and he opted for caution foiling in the conditions.

Artemis in action against Team Japan in the America's Cup challenger series semifinals.
RICARDO PINTO/ ACEA 2017

Artemis in action against Team Japan in the America's Cup challenger series semifinals.

"When you are racing, there is a tough balance between pushing hard and getting the boat and crew around safely," he said.

Team New Zealand had double blows on Wednesday.

They suffered wingsail damage as they sailed out to the course and had to dash back to their base to replace it. They managed to return to the start line with minutes to spare to engineer a come-from-behind win against Ainslie on Wednesday that took them to 3-0 in the race to get five wins and make the challengers final.

But their accident on the start line gave Ainslie the win by default and a much-needed lifeline.

While Team New Zealand undergo extensive emergency repairs, Outteridge said all the teams would be doing a close inspection of their boats overnight given the pounding they had taken.

Racing is scheduled to continue on Thursday (NZ time), though a forecast of even stronger winds is threatening to postpone racing because of safety concerns.

That would be a blessing for Team New Zealand, giving them more time to tend to the wounded Aotearoa.

 - Stuff

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