America's Cup : New Zealand stretch lead over US with another win

Posted June 29, 2017

Burling, 26, has been at the helm as Team New Zealand have captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation, although the Kiwi helmsman isn't getting carried away with his success.

The U.S. victory in the second race of the day gives the team some hope of a comeback against New Zealand, who now lead the first-to-seven series in Bermuda by 4-1.

It was a nerve-racking experience for the man who had the best seat in the house for Peter Burling's brilliant high-speed hook of Jimmy Spithill in the America's Cup start box.

"We improved on boat speed today and another step tomorrow would be great". That's the way we want sailing to be. "We're really happy with the package they've given us".

But while the America's Cup is as much a design as a sailing race, with tens of millions of dollars invested in the racing boats, psychological games are also crucial.

"We weren't giving them anything the whole race and we were able to keep pushing and it really showed".

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"We're in a tough situation now". "The plan wasn't to be in this position again", said Spithill.

“When we entered this we knew we were in for one hell of a battle.

The challengers were clinical in their starts in both of the day's wins, out-manoeuvring the American boat to clinch a clear advantage in each contest. We've seen these guys taking days off.

An early tack on the first upwind put Spithill and Slingsby to the right and when both boats tacked to converge, ORACLE TEAM USA made a pass on the dial-down, switching sides. Every single team member in Oracle Team USA will do whatever they can to help the team win.

"I'll do whatever is good for the team", he said.

"We'll be going straight back out on the water today to work on a few things".

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At the start of Race 8, Burling wheeled underneath and then alongside Oracle, forcing the USA boat to slow. Spithill blinked first, making the turn before Burling and slowly inching closer to the Kiwis as they headed towards gate two.

He says, "They're a very cool bunch of kids". In the end, it was an old-fashioned horizon job, putting the New Zealander's at match point in the series.

In Race 5, Spithill, an Australian, crossed the starting line a split second too soon and had to drop two lengths behind Team New Zealand. The Kiwis had a bad maneuver and Spithill sailed into the lead. We're pretty disappointed with the umpire call.

Their "cyclors", including an Olympic cycling medallist, have kept their heads down throughout the contest, pedalling furiously to provide enough oil in the system to allow the boat to perform nearly balletic pirouette manoeuvres on the water. This was in contrast to Oracle Team USA whose minor issues kept increasing the difference between the two teams on the racetrack.

Sailing - America's Cup finals - Hamilton, Bermuda - June 24, 2017 - Oracle Team USA win over Emirates Team New Zealand in race six of America's Cup finals.

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