Sport

America's Cup: New Zealand lead Team USA 3-0 after four races

America's Cup: New Zealand lead Team USA 3-0 after four races

The America's Cup has jumped fully into the 21st century, from the space-age catamarans that lift up on hydrofoils and fly across the waves to the use of social media for some smack talk between sailors in the days before two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand meet in the 35th America's Cup starting Saturday on the Great Sound.

This is a rematch of the epic 2013 America's Cup, when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Oracle Team USA won eight straight races to retain the oldest trophy in global sports.

Team New Zealand has taken an early advantage over Oracle Team USA after winning the first two races of the America's Cup in Bermuda.

"I think we're going to see one of the best sporting events of the year here over the next two weekends", said Spithill. He got that real early push and we thought we were going to make a leeward end start work there and they just accelerated there unfortunately.

New Zealand's only obvious miscue of the day came in the pre-start of the second race, when it slowed to a near stop.

The teams have a five-day break before racing resumes next Saturday and Sunday.

Team New Zealand needs to win six more races to return the Auld Mug to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, where it resided from 1995 to 2003.




Spithill vowed that from today to Friday the entire USA team - from boat builders, designers, engineers and crew - would be working round the clock in a bid to catch up.

Four years ago, New Zealand were eventually overhauled by an Oracle team that featured Britain's Ben Ainslie as tactician in what is regarded as one of sport's great comebacks.

Meanwhile, here is New Zealand cyclor Simon Van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in the Men's Keirin at London 2012, to explain why light winds equal hard grind for the boat's muscle men.

"Nothing will escape our eyes I can guarantee you that in these next five days", said Spithill. "Clearly we weren't sailing at our best".

"We need to go back and use those days wisely". Oracle sold a design package to SoftBank Team Japan so their boats are similar.

Spithill denied the heavy defeats had dented his team's confidence, pointing to their two wins over Team NZ during qualifying as proof that they can be competitive.

Burling also seems to have a far clearer view from his helming position, and when you have to make decisions extremely quickly at the speeds these boats travel at, a clear line-of-sight is a major bonus. Weve proved we can win races against these guys.


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