Team NZ take charge of America's Cup final

How technology helped America's Cup hit mainstream

New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, 26, won both races against defending USA champion Jimmy Spithill in an upset as the Kiwi team made a strong start in the first day of the first to seven competition.

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, the hard-luck losers to Oracle in 2013, later came off their foils during a difficult maneuver and slowed dramatically in light, shifty wind, losing half their lead.

In relatively light winds, Burling continued to sail smoothly, extending the Kiwis' advantage to a healthy margin of one minute and 52 seconds over their rivals by the fifth gate.

With the Qualifiers victory, the defending champion starts the Match on 0 points, while Team New Zealand is on -1.

Before sitting out the challenger semi-finals and final, they topped the round-robin qualifying standings to earn a valuable bonus point that they take into the America's Cup proper.

Team New Zealand needs to win four more races to return the Auld Mug to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, where it resided from 1995-2003.

For race two Emirates Team New Zealand again led around mark one.

Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper Glenn Ashby was quick to highlight they had plenty to improve and work on over the next 10 days if the team are to be ultimately successful.


"I think the question is, imagine if these guys lost from here?" "We're not going to hide from the truth".

Race 4 was to follow.

"On paper Jimmy Spithill has a lot of skill for that (America's Cup racing) and it's very natural for him", Groupama Team France skipper Franck Cammas told Reuters on Thursday.

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

"But Peter Burling is young and he learns very quickly and he has a good boat. he's very confident with the speed of his boat and with that you can compete better", Cammas said, adding that Spithill's ability to come out fighting even when his back is against the wall will count for a lot.

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

"We need to go back and use those days wisely".

Oracle fell back, however, allowing the New Zealand team to secure their second win. "I thought we were faster than yesterday but unfortunately it's just not enough".

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