Oracle suffers rare defeat, beaten by Team France in America's Cup qualifying

Posted June 02, 2017

Nathan Outteridge outfoxed fellow Australian skipper James Spithill as his Swedish America's Cup team Artemis Racing handed defending champions Oracle Team USA their first loss of the regatta.

Oracle Team USA is frustrated by their performances despite sitting atop the America's Cup round robin after completing their first round robin section.

British yachting legend Sir Ben Ainslie slumped to a fourth straight defeat at the America's Cup qualifiers on Monday as France's Groupama Team battled back from a poor start to win.

Second-placed Emirates Team New Zealand are well-placed after beating Sweden in a dramatic second race on Monday while France went on to lose to Japan in race three to throw the battle wide open.

Struggling Land Rover BAR has three points, followed by Artemis, SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France with two points apiece.

They're the only team to race everyone else so far, losing just once to Artemis and skipper Jimmy Spithill said they have a lot of improvement needed.

There was no sign of the damage suffered by BAR yesterday and fears that they had re-damaged the hull against Team USA early on day two provide unfounded.

Outteridge, an Olympic gold medallist, got the best of Spithill at the start of their race. "It was really about trying to avoid all those minefields out there". Oracle got close, but Artemis played the shifts for a big win.

It was their second win of the day, following a 33-second victory over Japan, helmed by fellow New Zealander Dean Barker.

The last match of the day between Oracle and SoftBank Team Japan was the only one where the pre-start victor stayed in front the entire time.

The thrilling duel against Artemis was underdogs France's first race win in Bermuda.

Speaking in the press conference, helmsman Ainslie said: 'For sure we can do a better job with our communication.

"It is just a shame we couldn't repay them in the races today".

Barker said his boat still needs some work after Saturday's crash. "I think our shore crew are looking forward to when Ben's going to bring some beers down".

Artemis and New Zealand don't have to wait for a rematch.

From then on, Team New Zealand were clinical in extending their lead all the way around the track, eventually finishing 1:28 ahead.

"We had a few tiny issues onboard and I misjudged the entry, but that happens", said Burling on his pre-start error which led to a penalty.