Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Burling, Kiwis beat Oracle third time in America's Cup

Vatican supports new elections to solve Venezuela crisis Burling, Kiwis beat Oracle third time in America's Cup
Elias Hubbard | 19 June, 2017, 01:09

Spithill and his team beat Peter Burling's Kiwis twice in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers a couple of weeks ago.

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

"Credit to Peter (Burling) and Emirates Team New Zealand because they made fewer mistakes to win both races", nodded Spithill, who remains as defiant as usual.

The 26-year-old Burling calmly steered the Kiwis' fast 50-foot catamaran to two more dominating victories Sunday to remain undefeated in the showdown on the Great Sound.

"Today I thought we got off the line pretty well, but they were pretty impressive accelerating".

"I think the question is, imagine if these guys lost from here", Spithill said, glancing at then-Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker.

"It wasn't our best manoeuvre, that last one through the bottom mark", Burling said with a wry grin when asked about the first calamity. "We thought we were coming back when we wanted to but as it turned out we were wrong, it is something we will have to go back and look at".

And then, saying he had a "leak" in the Kiwi camp, Spithill upstaged Burling when he said the Kiwis would pick Britain as their challenger semifinal opponent.

“Clearly we were not sailing at our best but we also had our opportunities.

Jimmy Spithill, Skipper and Helmsman for Oracle Team USA, center, reacts after losing both races to Emirates Team New Zealand during America's Cup match sailing competition, Saturday, June 17, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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

"We've known all along that to win the America's Cup we had to win eight races and so to get two wins on the board already is fantastic".

A win by New Zealand could threaten France's continued sponsorship by French insurance group Groupama as the Kiwis have not signed up to a framework agreement that was created to ensure continuity for the competition.

However, a five-day break until race five and six on Sunday (NZT) will allow Team USA to make changes to its teetering defence. "We felt we really improved a lot on yesterday".

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. 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.

"Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee you that. whether its system related or appendage related, sailing technique, strategy. we're going to look at everything".

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

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