Oracle skipper Spithill tough on, off water in America's Cup

Sailing- America's Cup Finals- News conference

Sailing- America's Cup Finals- News conference

In spite of errors on their part, a huge hull plant turning on to the finish leg in race one and getting out of phase and losing a 300-metre lead at the last windward mark on a wind shift in race two, the Kiwis managed to win two and, after whipping off the point against them at the start, now sit 1-0 against Oracle Team USA.

The New Zealand team's double victory erased a one-point advantage the US team earned in an earlier regatta and gave them an early lead as they showed superior speed over the defending champions in the opening races.

But Spithill, trying to pilot the U.S. to a third straight America's Cup title, was seconds early across the startline of race one and the Americans never recovered from the penalty, as Team New Zealand erased the United States boat's one-point advantage to level overall at 0-0. The Kiwi catamaran rose onto its hydrofoils and sped off across the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

Race 2 is to follow.

Helmsman Peter Burling, 26, took the lead in the fourth race and extended it, as he had in the previous race.

"I think the question is, imagine if these guys lost from here?"

With the Qualifiers victory, the defending champion starts the Match on 0 points, while Team New Zealand is on -1.

"We're under no illusions that we've got a lot of hard work going forward", said Burling".

Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America's Cup before he turns 38.

Two persons killed in security forces' firing in Kashmir
An Indian police officer detains a Kashmiri protester in Srinagar , Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, June 16, 2017. Mattoo a Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant was active since the two years in the Valley.

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.

Races 3 and 4 are scheduled Sunday.

Certainly Team USA will be operating from a position of strength in the decisive series.

After going into the competition one point down, the New Zealanders needed to win eight races to win the America's Cup, the world's oldest global sporting competition. Oracle needs to win seven to keep the silver trophy in the hands of American software billionaire Larry Ellison.

The Kiwi's control system, which is manned by skipper Glenn Ashby, means that they can also be fast and accurate going into manoeuvres and coming out.

Who is going to win?

"I think it just shows that you guys will fall for anything", Spithill chuckled.

New Zealand's biggest shock so far was to introduce a revolutionary cycling system on their 50-foot (15 metre) catamaran, which allows "cyclors" rather than traditional "grinders" to generate the hydraulic power needed to operate its high-tech "foils" and towering "wing" sail.

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