Team New Zealand's bid to get back out on the water following their horror capsize in today's America's Cup challenger semifinals is looking more hopeful than first thought.

The Kiwi team's 2017 campaign was teetering on the brink earlier today, after pitch-poling their 50-ft catamaran just moments into the start of their fourth semifinal match-up against British team Ben Ainslie Racing.

After being righted within 15 minutes, the stricken vessel was guided back to the Emirates Team New Zealand base, where the team have remained hunkered down assessing the damage.

Earlier today helmsman Peter Burling said he was unsure of the extent of the damage, or how long the team would be off the water.


But after a thorough check-through of the boat and its systems, there is confidence within the team the repair job is "doable" and they will live to race another day at this America's Cup.

It is understood the main platform of the boat did not sustain any serious structural damage. There is, however, significant damage to fairings, which were ripped off by the force of the water as the bows plunged in.

The most visible damage was sustained to the wing sail, upon which the boat came to rest after tipping. The top of the wing appeared to be shredded, exposing crumpled pieces of carbon fibre.

Team NZ do have a second wing, although this also sustained damage today as they headed out onto the race course. The team were able to return to base, hoist out of the water, swap out their wingsail and make it to the startbox on time for their opening race of the say.

The earlier damage to their wing appeared to be a series of broken spars in the lower part of the sail, and it is likely the shore crew will concentrate on patching this wing up first.

With heavy winds again forecast in Bermuda tomorrow, Team NZ's repair window may be pushed out to 48 hours. Winds of around 25 knots, gusting into the high 30s, are expected to hit the Great Sound tomorrow, and regatta director Iain Murray told media ahead of racing today that his confidence of getting any racing in tomorrow is "low".

If the race committee does deem the conditions to be sailable, and Team NZ fail to turn up on the race course, they will forfeit the points to BAR. Conditions on Friday are expected to be more moderate.

Rules explainer:


-The pre-agreed wind range for this America's Cup is an average speed of 6-24 knots.
-The wind readings are taken on the race committee boat during the five minute window from eight minutes before the start of the race, until three minutes before the start. The average is measured over 30-second blocks.
-If at any point the wind dips below six knots, or creeps above 24, the clock is re-set and they try again. Regatta director Iain Murray reported in one of last month's practice racing days, there were 25 attempts to start a race.
-But once a race has started, the race committee are "obliged to finish it". So if the wind picks up and is gusting well above the upper wind limit, there's no requirement to call off the race.
-Murray does, however, have the discretionary power to call off a race if he deems the conditions to be unsafe for the crews, but he said this generally only occurs if the sea state is particularly rough.