Sport

Oracle beats Kiwis to earn America's Cup match bonus point

Oracle beats Kiwis to earn America's Cup match bonus point

Earlier on Saturday, the USA crew beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifier event, guaranteeing themselves a bonus point when the racing for the cup begins on June 17 in Bermuda.

Today's two wins take Emirates Team New Zealand to the top of the points table after Oracle Team USA lost their match against Artemis Racing.

Although New Zealand fought back, a couple of uncharacteristic errors meant they were unable to get ahead of Spithill's 50-foot (15 metre) catamaran and were beaten easily by the holders of the oldest trophy in worldwide sport.

Coupled with two wins in these round robins, Oracle has won 10 straight races against Team New Zealand. That helped kill the drama in a rematch of the teams that met in the epic 2013 America's Cup match.

Also Thursday, Oracle overcame a penalty at the start and passed stablemate SoftBank Team Japan to win by 32 seconds.

"It'll be a real battle but we are up for it and looking forward to it".

The new breed of America's Cup craft lift out of the water on hydrofoils, so far "flying" at speeds of more than 40 knots.

"The size of the task they will face [in the play-offs] was brutally underlined as Ainslie voluntarily retired from a race for the first time in his career as they were crushed by Emirates Team New Zealand on another day of light winds on the Great Sound in Bermuda".

The result means the US team supported by Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison will have a point lead against whoever gets to challenge them in head-to-head match, which will be won by the first team to get to seven points.

Team New Zealand beat Britain's BAR on Thursday to firm as the most likely No.1 the challenger to three-time defending champions United States of America after five days of racing.




The hapless French had no answer to the sheer pace and control of Emirates Team New Zealand, the Kiwi boat achieving the first official "perfect" race foiling right around the track for a 100 per cent fly-time to win by 4:06.

Oracle will sail against Land Rover BAR in the fourth and final race Saturday.

Oracle, the 2013 champions, now head the round robin standings with seven points after six wins and one defeat.

He's been saved in this regatta by two bonus points earned by leading the fleet after the America's Cup World Series the last two years.

After Saturday, Oracle will train on its own while the challengers sail their semifinals and finals.

Another factor giving Japan a "home" advantage is that they have based themselves in Bermuda with Oracle Team USA since they were founded in 2015.

"It was a pleasant prestart; we enjoyed that and the first two thirds of the race", Barker said.

"It is a relief to have got through to the next stage because that is the first goal for all the teams competing here", he said.

“Were really happy with how we went today, ” Burling said.


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