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Burling, Kiwis beat Oracle third time in America's Cup

19 June, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Rachael Silva
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As the two sides came through the fifth gate, Team New Zealand with a healthy lead, Oracle's Jimmy Spithill sailed straight at the Kiwi boat.

One of the more intriguing matchups, besides how the teams' 50-foot, foiling catamarans compare and how well the crews sail them, is how Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, a 26-year-old America's Cup rookie, holds up against Spithill.

But the Kiwis later came off their foils during a hard maneuver and slowed dramatically in the tough conditions, losing half their lead. In this photo provided by the America's Cup Event Authority, Oracle Team USA competes during Race 2 of the America's Cup match sailing competition, Sunday, June 18, 2017, in the Great Sound of Bermuda.

A win by 49 seconds in race three was bettered by a winning margin of 1min 12sec in race four as the the boat helmed by Peter Burling charged to within four wins of lifting the Auld Mug.

"I thought the boat was going a lot better today", said Spithill afterwards. As the holders, the Americans hold all the trump cards and will start as favourites, particularly given that one-point head start and the fact that they beat the Kiwis in both their head-to-head races during the qualifiers. 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.

“Look, I really try and portray the team, ” Spithill said Friday after he and Burling posed with the Americas Cup.


Race 4 was to follow.

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

Oracle Team USA's track record of performing when their backs are against the wall and the intervening five days should set up a fascinating showdown to the competition as both teams race to modify their boats and improve performance.

Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill doesn't believe the cyclors are the key to Team NZ's early advantage in the America's Cup final. They've 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.

Spithill is no stranger to adversity as he and his team made one of the biggest-ever comebacks in sporting history when they rallied from 8-1 down against New Zealand to win the "Auld Mug" in San Francisco in 2013 when the victor was the first to nine. "I thought we were faster than yesterday but unfortunately it's just not enough".

"I'm pretty sure Groupama won't go if the Kiwis win so we have to change out proposal".

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