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Kiwis beat Oracle in first two America's Cup races in Bermuda

19 June, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Glenda Knight
  • Rival helmsmen Peter Burling and Jimmy Spithill with the prize on offer in Bermuda

New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, 26, won both races against defending US champion Jimmy Spithill in an upset as the Kiwi team made a strong start in the first day of the first to seven competition.

One of the more intriguing matchups, besides how the teams 50-foot, foiling catamarans compare and how well the crews sail them, is how Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, a 26-year-old Americas Cup rookie, holds up against Spithill. The Kiwis led for much of the race, despite Oracle closing to three seconds after a wind shift put them back in touch.

Both races there was some chances but these guys [Emirates Team New Zealand] at the end of the day made fewer mistakes.

Oracle fell back, however, allowing the New Zealand team to secure their second win.

"I think what happened is that we lost a rudder", revealed Spithill, reflecting on the manoeuvre that all but ended their challenge.

The defenders appear to be in serious trouble as they suffered two more heavy defeats to the Kiwis to fall behind 3-0 in the first-to-seven series. "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.

As both boats headed towards the turn the gap was down to just over three seconds, and it looked like the U.S. team might record their first win of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, but it was not to be.

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A member of Emirates Team New Zealand raises a sail before a sailing training session Friday, June 16, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Hes already going strong as he attempts to win a third straight Americas Cup with Oracle Team USA, the powerhouse squad owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison.

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

Coutts has been the CEO of Oracle Team USA since it beat Alinghi in 2010. He has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke.

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system. They have built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards.

Who is going to win?

"I thought we were faster than yesterday but unfortunately it's just not enough".

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