As a result of the last two days of competition Groupama Team France, which scored the least points, left the regatta, the leader of the standings Oracle Team USA received a bonus point in the final, and the most successful of the Cup contenders - Emirates Team New Zealand - chose an opponent in the semi-finals.
The French team lost to Emirates Team New Zealand by more than 4 minutes. However, Groupama skipper Frank Camma said the team would leave the America's Cup «» with a smile after the final match against Artemis Racing on Saturday, June 3. He said the team had «no high expectations» for the America's Cup and added that he was pleased with its progress over the past two weeks.
Emirates Team New Zealand won both their duels on June 2, convincingly outclassing not only the French but also the Japanese.
Sweden's Artemis needed to win both races on Friday to guarantee a playoff spot. They surprised spectators by defeating Cup holders Oracle Team USA for the second time in qualifying.
Artemis grabbed the lead on the pre-start, and were able to hold it throughout the race, even despite a slight nose dive on the fifth stretch.
The second race of the day against SoftBank Team Japan was won in the same manner by Nathan Outridge's team, leading from start to finish despite a hard pursuit by the Japanese, who were never more than 20 seconds behind.
«Today was our comeback day," said Artemis' skipper. - Before today we had a serious talk with each other about everything because we went from a very good performance in the practice races to a situation where our ability to get out of qualifying was called into question. We took a step back to see what we could improve, and I think we saw those improvements today».
The key race of the final day of the America's Cup qualifying round was the battle between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand.
The referees - not for the first time in the competition - played a crucial role in it. The Kiwis got a penalty on the pre-start and let Oracle take the lead, but caught up with them by the second leg. At the third mark the teams came at the same time, but the Americans again overtook the New Zealanders, according to ETNZ skipper Peter Burling, with an infringement of the rules. He lodged a protest, which the judges rejected. On the fifth of the seven sections of the course, the Kiwis received another penalty for going off course.
In Saturday's second race, Land Rover BAR led their boat aggressively but without breaking any rules to start against SoftBank Team Japan. Winning on the pre-start, the Brits consolidated their lead after a penalty for the Japanese team. However, SoftBank Team Japan skipper Dean Barker did not give up and caught up with Ben Ainslie's team by the end of the race. The fate of the race was decided at the last mark, which the teams reached at the same time. The British fared slightly better, winning the race by 13 seconds.
Groupama Team France did not manage to slam the door beautifully and delight their fans with one last win against Artemis, which seems to have really revived, as Nathan Outridge said.
In their last qualifying match, Oracle Team USA picked up a solid win over Land Rover BAR. Jimmy Spithill's team was the first to cross the start line, and Ben Ainslie was never able to close the initial gap.
They were the British Land Rover BAR.
«We believe that given the weather forecast for the coming week this is the opponent with whom we have the best chance of progress»," explained the decision of the team skipper Peter Birling.