Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Emirates Team New Zealand take early control against Oracle Team USA

Emirates Team New Zealand take early control against Oracle Team USA

Emirates Team New Zealand moved into a 3-0 lead over Oracle Team USA after the first four races of the America's Cup.

Both teams essentially had faultless races, but the superior boat speed of Emirates Team New Zealand proved the deciding factor, the Kiwis pulling away throughout the race to build a lead of 500 metres heading towards the fifth gate. Team USA bounced back from an 8-1 deficit in 2013 against the Kiwis to win 9-8 in the sport's most captivating episode yet.

"It's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes", Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA's skipper said at a post-race news conference.

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"We have five days to go back, work over the boat and review our stuff". "These are going to be the most important five days of this America's Cup campaign for us", said the two-time victor of the America's Cup. Burling kept his composure, rounding the fifth gate with his 49 second advantage intact, and from that point there was no looking back Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line almost a minute ahead of the U.S. team and Burling claimed his third victory on the trot in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

And while other observers said the two wins gave New Zealand a significant psychological boost, Mr Unflappable, helmsman Peter Burling, kept it typically understated: "It felt like our boat was going really fast, which is really pleasing".

Defending champions the United States of America began the best-of-13 series with a one-point advantage after winning the earlier qualifying regatta, which was erased by New Zealand's race-one win.

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"We sailed better today but we also made a lot of mistakes and we are a long way from where we want to be", says Burling.

Racing resumes Saturday and Sunday. But they are really excited about that challenge over the next five days of taking that next step on our boat as well. keeping on pushing the performance moving forward. Burling and Spithill were locked in a colossal game of chicken, with the two boats close enough for the pair to shake hands at one point, with Team New Zealand edging it.

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system. The Kiwis used the same foils they did in speeding to two victories on Saturday while the American-backed crew appeared to use two different foils.

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