Kiwis beat Oracle in America's Cup opener in Bermuda

Posted June 19, 2017

Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA in race two of the America's Cup final on Saturday to go 1-0 ahead after erasing the US team's one-point lead in the first race with another convincing win.

America's Cup defenders Oracle Team USA have five days to find an answer, after they fell 3-0 behind challengers Team NZ off Bermuda this morning (NZ time). The Kiwis' 50-foot catamaran rose onto its hydrofoils and sped off across the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

But the Kiwis later came off their foils during a hard maneuver and slowed dramatically in the tough conditions, losing half their lead.

They made up that deficit with their first win on Saturday and with three wins from three races held a 2-0 lead in the first-to-seven points series with race four to come later Sunday.

Team New Zealand after their win in race number one.

Team NZ were 42 seconds up at the fourth mark and Spithill tried to make up ground by initiating a tacking duel, but Burling wouldn't bite and continued to sail smoothly to the finish, eventually finishing 49 seconds clear.

"I think the question is, imagine if these guys lost from here", Spithill said, glancing at then-Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker.

The Kiwis won one more race to reach match point at 8-1, and then suffered one of the greatest collapses in sports as Spithill staged one of the biggest comebacks.

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"But Peter Burling is young and he learns very quickly and he has a good boat. he's very confident with the speed of his boat and with that you can compete better", Cammas said, adding that Spithill's ability to come out fighting even when his back is against the wall will count for a lot.

Emirates Team New Zealand faces Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup sailing m.

"With boat speed and good manoeuvres, it's turning out quite nicely for us".

"Look, I really try and portray the team", Spithill said Friday after he and Burling posed with the America's Cup.

The always-crafty Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system.

Burling, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, again appeared unflappable. They have built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards.

The sighting begged the question of whether the U.S. team were putting together a second boat or merely trying to rattle their rivals - who are out to expunge the memory of their spectacular collapse from an 8-1 lead in the title series in San Francisco four years ago. "I thought we were faster than yesterday but unfortunately it's just not enough".