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Sir Ben Ainslie's team given hope after New Zealand capsize in America's Cup challenger

Team New Zealand skippered by Peter Burling is seen capsizing at the race start in race 5 of the 35th America's Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-finals. MARK LLOYD/AFP/Getty Images

Sir Ben Ainslie hopes to see his team New Zealand rivals back up and racing soon, after a spectacular capsize in the America's Cup challenger semi-final in Bermuda.

The New Zealanders were competing in the second race against Ainslie's Land Rover BAR when, under strong winds, the boat rose up on its foils and plunged forwards into the Great Sound, in what Ainslie described as "one of the most full-on, exhilarating moments" of his career.

Race organisers later confirmed that all of the crew were "accounted for and unhurt".

While the Kiwis maintain a firm 3-1 lead in the first-to-five series, this point will give Ainslie's British team a hopeful shot, though the extreme weather conditions are not to be underestimated.

"It was unbelievable racing in gusts up to 27-28 knots," the five-time Olympic champion said.

"All of us sitting here are not going to pass criticism - these boats are incredibly hard to sail and these things can happen."

Team New Zealand are left to assess the damage to the multi-million pound catamaran ahead of the remainder of the series, though a forecast for stronger wind could see racing cancelled, buying the Kiwis some extra recovery time.

Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling told a press conference that there was a "fair bit of damage" to the AC50 - which appeared to include a top section of the wing smashed - though that this was repairable and expects to be able to resume racing.

The winners of the series are set to progresses to the challenger final and whoever wins that takes on defending champions Team USA for the America's Cup itself.

In the other semi-final series, Team Japan won both runs against Sweden's Artemis Racing to move 3-1 ahead.