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America's Cup: Team New Zealand hold the edge over Team USA

19 June 2017

This is a rematch of the epic 2013 America's Cup, when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Oracle Team USA won eight straight races to retain the oldest trophy in worldwide sports.

Oracle Team USA were over the line in the first start, allowing New Zealand to gain an advantage and extend their lead during the race, despite an uncomfortable moment at the last mark, when the Kiwis came off their foils.

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.

But the Kiwis came off their foils during a hard maneuver and slowed dramatically in light, shifty wind, losing half their lead. The American-backed crew benefited from a wind shift sailing upwind on leg five in the second race and made up a huge deficit, pulling right behind the Kiwis sailing through the gate mark.

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(AP Photo/Gregory Bull). Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling gestures on his way towards a sailing training session Friday, June 16, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Spithill thinks the splashdown was caused by a problem with one of the rudders.

In 2013, he helped lead one of the greatest comebacks in sports, when Oracle, down 8-1 at match point to the Kiwis, won eight straight races on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in global sports. "We've been in a tough situation before and overcome a lot of different challenges and now we've got to respond", Spithill said.

Races 3 and 4 are scheduled Sunday.

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But skipper Jimmy Spithill and his crew, although outwardly confident, will not be taking anything for granted in their quest for a third successive win after seeing how New Zealand have performed to become the challenger for the "Auld Mug", which was first claimed in 1851 by the schooner "America".

Race Two: Emirates Team New Zealand beat ORACLE TEAM USA by 1 minute and 28 seconds.

The match-up between ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand is a rematch of the 2013 America's Cup Match in which ORACLE TEAM USA staged what many call the greatest comeback in sport. Jimmy Spithill's Oracle team now face an uphill battle to win the competition, where the trophy is earned by the team that wins seven races.

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

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The always-crafty Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system. Theyre going to be there when we need them.”. During tacks and gybes, the cyclists unclip, run across the trampoline to the other hull and clip back in, powering the hydraulic systems that control the wingsail and raise and lower the daggerboards.

America's Cup: Team New Zealand hold the edge over Team USA