Emirates Team New Zealand hold early advantage in Americas Cup

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 19, 2017

New Zealand's boat speed was again superior in race four, with Jimmy Spithill's American crew essentially left to wait for a mistake that never came.

Emirates Team New Zealand dominated the opening day of the 35th America's Cup, handing defenders Oracle Team USA two defeats on Bermuda's Great Sound.

The U.S. holders of the oldest trophy in worldwide sport not only go into the first-to-seven event with a bonus point for topping the qualifiers series, they are also racing on "home" waters, having based themselves in Bermuda since winning the sailing's most prestigious prize in San Francisco in 2013. "I think the really pleasing thing out of it was the way we did scramble and we managed to get the job done no worries".

"I don't know what you're talking about", Spithill said, all mock innocence when asked about New Zealand media reports that two bow sections had been seen being carried from the Americans' base to that of SoftBank Team Japan, the vanquished would-be challenger with whom the U.S. have had a close working relationship.

Team NZ suffered what appeared to be one minor mishap in race four, when their boat sunk off its foils in the start box.

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

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.

"If we have to change hulls, its nearly twice the price to have our chance to perform", Cammas said.

"We feel like were far from flawless today, and we've got a lot to improve on in the next few days".

"We know if we stand still, they'll catch us".

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system. 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. Simon van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in track cycling at the London Olympics, was aboard for Race 3. There are two more races scheduled for tomorrowwith similar light conditions forecast. Olympic rowing champion Joe Sullivan replaced him for Race 4.

'But I think we did well enough to keep our elbows out and keep them behind us, after a couple of great starts'.

In 1988, after turning back New Zealand's rogue challenge with his catamaran defense, Conner engaged with some unpleasantness as a news conference ended, telling Kiwi boat designer Bruce Farr: "Get lost. They're going to be there when we need them".

There was barely anything to separate the rivals across the startline and at the first mark, but New Zealand rounded the second mark 11 seconds in front and pulled away to win by 49 seconds.

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