Team NZ extends lead over Oracle


Competition resumes today [June 18] in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, with Jimmy Spithill's Oracle Team USA looking to seize back the advantage gained by Peter Burling's Emirates Team New Zealand on day one in Sunday's two races, scheduled to start at 2.00pm AST.

But that won't stop others from drawing conclusions. "However, I've been here before, and it is still only a point!" "The next five days will be the most important five days of the competition", Spithill said.

In the opening race Oracle were handed a penalty for crossing the start line slightly early, with the Kiwis punishing the defenders and opening up a comfortable lead of 1min 52sec by the fifth gate.

As for Oracle's foil selection, "I thought we made a good step forward", Spithill said. Spithill said, glancing at Barker. That's what we're planning to race.

However, Burling did not have it all his own way and mistakes began to creep in.

The New Zealand team are a fast, well-oiled machine with their aerodynamic pod of four "cyclor" sailors, who supply the energy needed to power the boat's massive wing sail by pedaling on bikes.

"It was an incredibly tricky day out there with the winds and they certainly weren't our best manoeuvres", conceded Burling.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill isn't waiting for the opening race of 35th America's Cup to launch his game of cat-and-mouse with Emirates Team New Zealand.

Spithill has never lacked confidence, whether it was as the 20-year-old skipper of a bare-bones Aussie challenge in the 2000 Americas Cup, or at age 30 becoming the youngest skipper to win sailings biggest prize.

'It was one of those shifty days when a lead can be made and lost very quickly'.

Team NZ suffered what appeared to be one minor mishap on Monday (NZT), when their boat sunk off their foils in the start box ahead of race four. But there have been times when New Zealand's boat looks the quickest and their leg-pumping cyclists have enabled the crew to deliver power more easily than the arm-grinders on rival boats.

"I'm pretty sure Groupama won't go if the Kiwis win so we have to change out proposal". "We felt we really improved a lot on yesterday".

Team New Zealand lead the first-to-seven series 1-0. However their performance was not without incident or error, and on two occasions Oracle Team USA looked like they would be able to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

"We'll have to go back and look at that because it was obviously a key moment in the race".

Having had Oracle get the better of a top mark situation during the round-robin series where the Americans jumped on Kiwi mistakes to earn two wins, Burling was delighted to see his team hold it together under pressure in the Cup final.

The first in Race 1 came at the final mark, where in a repeat of one of their Challenger Finals races, the Kiwis muffed a gybe and bought the AC50 to a grinding halt, ahead of a fast approaching Oracle Team USA.



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