Emirates Team New Zealand hold early advantage in Americas Cup

Oracle won a bonus point for winning the qualifiers, but it was actually a negative point for the Kiwis.

They also snapped a 10-race losing streak to Oracle, including eight at the end of the 2013 regatta and two in the round-robins this year.

Australian Spithill's Oracle team now faces an uphill battle to win the 35th edition of the competition, where the trophy is earned by the first team to reach seven points.

Both teams sailed well on Sunday, with fewer obvious mistakes than in Saturday's races, and the differences in performance came down to pure speed.

The Kiwi team crossed the line 48.7 seconds ahead of the U. "We're really happy to have won four so far, but we've just got to keep pushing".

Oracle does have history on its side.

ORACLE TEAM USA is looking to win its third consecutive America's Cup, a feat last achieved by the same team in the 1930s.

The Oracle skipper got a taste of his own medicine after going 3-0 down in the America's Cup this morning. The team is hungry and a very, very competitive group.

"We need to make some serious changes".

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"We're under no illusions", helsman Peter Burling, 26, said.

That break, and Oracle's ability to keep innovating proved the impetus behind the U.S. team's stunning comeback.

In light easterly winds, the New Zealand team's foils, which lift the boat out of the water at speed, appeared to be more efficient, consolidating the Kiwis' reputation as light wind specialists.

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system. Theyve built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards.

Races 3 and 4 are scheduled Sunday.

Despite relinquishing the point advantage they held at the beginning of the day, Oracle Team USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill is refusing to panic, especially with the experience of overturning an eight - one deficit to the same opposition in 2013. "We never stopped trimming and the boys got an absolute flogging". “I thought we were faster than yesterday but unfortunately its just not enough.

"It's a lot harder for them if we keeping moving, if we stand still, they'll catch us". "We're not going to hide from the truth".

Oracle made an unforced error when its 50-foot catamaran came off its foils early on the downwind second leg.

"Halfway way up that second beat we definitely lost a lot and we have to go away and keep learning and improving", admitted Burling.

  • Myrtle Hill