Kiwis lay down challenge in America's Cup

Posted June 26, 2017

"We were far from our best today. we need to sharpen up and that's what we'll focus on tonight, Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill told a news conference".

The Kiwi team crossed the line 48.7 seconds ahead of the US team.

The New Zealanders are well aware that it is possible not to win the America's Cup despite an early advantage, after being 8-1 up in San Francisco four years ago before losing to Oracle.

"To do that (win the cup) we've gotta win eight races".

"Clearly we need to now put everything back on the table", Spithill said.

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.

They must find a solution to the superior upwind speed of Team NZ's catamaran and devise a way to rattle Burling, who has been flawless with his starts and decision-making so far, nullifying the threat of aggressive match-racing ability of Team USA's Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill.

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"There's no two ways about it, we will look at every single thing we can. We'll keep battling away and aim to get the remaining six wins needed as soon as possible".

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"We're obviously disappointed with what was a tough day, but the deficit is only one point so we we're not panicking", said a defiant Spithill. "Nothing changes for us".

Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling says there's been a bigger driving force than simply the light Bermuda winds behind their dominant start to the America's Cup series against Oracle.

"However, I've been here before, and it is still only a point!"

“The second one we thought he was going to be early. We were a little surprised with some of the numbers we had and really handed that one to them.

However, Burling did not have it all his own way and mistakes began to creep in. The New Zealanders have massive support at home, where sailing is a national sport.

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"Nothing will escape our eyes I can guarantee you that in these next five days", said Spithill.

Well-funded Oracle Team USA has five days to try to come with some answers to counter the spot-on design innovations by the scrappy Kiwis, who are getting by with much less funding.

Oracle Team USA went into the America's Cup match on Saturday (June 17) with one bonus point after their victory against Emirates Team New Zealand. That doesn't appear to have been a disadvantage for New Zealand who accelerated clear after the first mark in the second game.

Now, the teams will renew hostilities with the oldest trophy in worldwide sport on the line once again. That was enough for Burling to speed away around the seven-leg course. Cycling nerd John MacLeary wants to know whether the cyclors on board the New Zealand boat wear trainers or cycling shoes.

The second race saw a tense start, which was also won by New Zealand.

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

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