News Worms
News Worms

Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup

Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup

Skipper Jimmy Spithill says Oracle Team USA will consider every option to keep its America's Cup defence alive, including replacing him at the helm.

He led the USA's miraculous revival in San Francisco four years ago, when his team came back from 8-1 down to beat New Zealand 9-8 in one of sport's greatest ever turnarounds.

"They haven't handed over the trophy yet".

Tomorrow will see the Kiwis have two attempts to lift the America's Cup, needing just the one win compared to Oracle's six, with their helmsman relishing the biggest challenge of his remarkable career. It was a simple move made to precision: the Kiwi's got to leeward of the Americans and took them head to wind. "We're in a tough situation now".

Burling, a 26-year-old Olympic gold medallist in 2016, was cool and composed as he "luffed" and trapped the more experienced match-racing specialist Spithill in the "pre-start" of the day's second race, forcing the USA boat to a standstill.

The US team have spent the week working on making improvements to their 50-foot foiling catamaran in an effort to match the superior speed of their rivals, who are using a revolutionary cycling system with which their sailors provide the power needed to control the boat.

"Hat's off to those guys today, they sailed clean and smart", Spithill said after the race, adding that the USA team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison would fight to the end and had staged a comeback from a similar position before.

"I'll do whatever is good for the team", he said.

A dominant Emirates Team New Zealand claimed worldwide sport's oldest trophy by 7-1 in Bermuda's Great Sound, with 26-year-old Peter Burling becoming the youngest helmsman to secure sailing's biggest prize.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 2.00pm on Monday 26th June with races nine and ten in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, taking place on Bermuda's Great Sound. Clearly, the plan wasn't to be in this position, let me tell you.

"They really were a class above in this America's Cup". On leg three there was very little between the two teams but the Kiwis extended their advantage again as they headed upwind, giving themselves a 32 second lead as they headed into leg four. Spithill and his crew did everything they could to stop the leaderboard ticking round to five - one to Emirates Team New Zealand, reducing the deficit to 13 seconds at the sixth gate, but they were unable to bridge the gap completely and that left the Kiwis celebrating victory in race seven.

Burling appeared to give a friendly wave to the Oracle crew as he sailed alongside and into a controlling position during the prestart of Race 8.

Finally, another dominant display by Burling and the New Zealand team culminated in a 30 second win in race eight over Oracle Team USA, putting them on the brink of winning the 35th America's Cup.


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