New Zealand wins 5th straight vs Oracle in America's Cup

Adjust Comment Print

Team New Zealand, the hard-luck loser to Oracle in 2013, gained during a wind shift on leg four of the sixth race and passed Oracle in the matchup of 50-foot foiling catamarans.

"Anything can happen, we've already seen that and so we won't stop believing we can win this".

"That first race was those incredible fans and hopefully we give them more to cheer".

But despite the preparations, things started badly for the USA team on Saturday as skipper Jimmy Spithill was a fraction of a second over the line at the start, picking up a penalty which left his crew chasing their opponents to the first mark.

Burling could become the youngest helmsman to win sailing's greatest prize.

Spithill was widely reckoned to have the advantage over young Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling, a seven-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist in the 49er class in Rio a year ago who despite his credentials came in with far less match racing experience.

"We also managed to get out for three training sessions as well, to sharpen up all those little things, those little scenarios".

“Its a bummer we didnt get there in the end, ” Beck said.

Before the regatta in Bermuda, all of the competing syndicates, except Team New Zealand, agreed to a blueprint for the next two editions of the Cup.

Oracle's boat builders have conceded the Kiwis have a better boat and are likely to win the America's Cup. "I honestly don't think it's the bikes", Spithill said.

Burling, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with Team New Zealand crewmate Blair Tuke, got in a zinger of his own, saying about Oracle, "It's great to see a bit of fight out of these boys".

But Oracle closed the distance and the boats were even as they went through the gate mark five. The Kiwis had a bad maneuver and Spithill sailed into the lead.

He crossed ahead on the third leg.

"You'd have to put your money behind Team New Zealand at the moment with the boat speed they've shown which seems to be coming from their foil and wing package", Smyth told the Weekend Herald.

After five days with no racing, both crews have been working to improve the performance of their space-age catamarans, with the pressure on the USA crew and their extensive design and technical team to pull something out of the hat. While regatta rules limit the changes Team USA can make, they could tweak their hydrofoils, the appendages that allow the catamarans' twin hulls to rise above the water's surface to virtually fly at breathtaking speeds.

Races 7 and 8 are scheduled for Sunday.