New Zealand beats Oracle in America's Cup opener in Bermuda

Jun 26, 2017, 00:57
New Zealand beats Oracle in America's Cup opener in Bermuda

"I think it's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some changes", Spithill said after New Zealand, helmed by Peter Burling, beat Oracle twice yesterday (June 18) to complete a sweep of the first four races.

Although the USA team have the odds in their favour going into the first races of the 35th America's Cup starting on Saturday, the New Zealand crew may yet take the wind out of their sails.

Now, the teams will renew hostilities with the oldest trophy in worldwide sport on the line once again.

He then upstaged Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling when, asked if he knew who Team New Zealand would pick for its opponent in the challenger semifinals, said: "From the leak I've got in their team, they're picking Ben Ainslie Racing".

The most pleasing aspect for the Kiwis was the speed of their boat in the light conditions of seven to ten knots, Aotearoa New Zealand consistently quicker than the Americans.

But at the end of the first day of racing in the America's Cup match, Jimmy Spithill's were fairly tight. Clearly we need to now put everything back on the table.

"System, appendage, sailing technique and strategy - we're going to look at everything".

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

The 37-year-old Australian skipper of Oracle Team USA will take on all comers, whether its from behind the wheel of his fast catamaran in the Americas Cup, in a boxing ring or via lethal mind games at news conferences.

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It is not the first time Oracle has been up against it in 2013 they came back from 8-1 down to nick the trophy from New Zealand when it was the first to nine.

The five day break is a boon, added Spithill, who noted that the team didn't have almost that much time in 2013 when they were staring down defeat while trailing New Zealand 1-8 in San Francisco.

Emirates Team New Zealand competes against Oracle Team USA in race one in America's Cup Finals.

The contest will resume next Saturday, with races five and six.

HAMILTON, Bermuda Jimmy Spithill isnt afraid of a fight.

"We know if we stand still, they'll catch us". The Kiwis used the same foils they did in speeding to two victories on Saturday while the American-backed crew appeared to use two different foils. "We feel we have got just as much chance to win this and we're going to do everything we can".

Bertrand believes Burling is tough because of his dominance in winning the Olympic gold medal in the 49er class at Rio de Janeiro last summer with Blair Tuke, a Team New Zealand grinder.

But its 50-foot catamaran came off its foils during a bad gybe and buried its bows in the water, allowing the Kiwis to speed back ahead and open a lead of about 300 yards.

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