New Zealand wins 5th straight vs Oracle in America's Cup
Jun 29, 2017, 15:34
It was Spithill and the team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison who in 2013 turned an 8-1 deficit against New Zealand into a 9-8 victory and a successful defence of the oldest trophy in worldwide sport. Team New Zealand has won seven races but began with a negative point because Oracle won the qualifiers.
But Spithill's been here before.
By doing so they could expunge the bitter memory of 2013, when they led Spithill and the U.S. 8-1 before falling 9-8 in San Francisco.
Spithill acknowledged that New Zealand just sailed better yesterday as they ensured Oracle didn't build on their first victory of the series a day before.
Until the sixth race, the powerhouse American-backed squad, crewed mostly by Australians, had been humbled by the underfunded but crafty Kiwis, helmed by 26-year-old Peter Burling. He said the Kiwis had benefited from some "soft" calls by the umpires.
Spithill, one of the world's most successful sailors, said it was too soon to say what he or the US team would do next. "We felt we had a great race going with the Kiwis.
"I looked up once and we were right on the stern of Oracle then I had another look and we were right beside them".
"After that Emirates Team New Zealand moved away and kept on extending at every mark, the Kiwi cause helped by problems on Oracle which saw the boat crashing off its foils en route to a 2'04" defeat. "We've been there before".
"It does remind me of San Francisco", Spithill said. That was the key thing That's why today was very, very important.
In truth, New Zealand were never troubled from the start.
The US win means the racing could continue beyond today. We've all got the same understanding of what we want to achieve and we are all on the same page.
Spithill said Oracle made too many changes to the boat to mention.
"We're frustrated with race one", Spithill said.
It was the deciding factor in both of Team NZ's day four wins, believes Burling. Both teams say they've a lot more in the tank and both were planning extensive reviews of their performances. The Kiwis have had their share of mayhem this spring, including a capsize in the challenger semifinals.
"I had my head up for that manoeuvre, we were coming down on them pretty hard and really quickly".
Success is nothing new to Burling and teammate Blair Tuke, with the pair unchallenged in their stroll to Olympic gold in Rio last year and only having lost one regatta together in the last four years.
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