America's Cup Day 1: Two Wins But Plenty to Improve

Oracle skipper Spithill tough on off water in America’s Cup

This is a rematch of the epic 2013 Americas Cup, when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Spithill lead Oracle Team USA to eight straight victories for one of the biggest comebacks in sports.

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 New Zealand and Oracle during racing on the second day of the America's cup final racing.

New Zealand continued to excel in light-wind sailing on the second day of racing as helmsman Peter Burling, 26, capitalised on a small mistake by the USA team and extended his lead throughout Sunday.

"There are so many things we can work on and improve on", he said. "We've been in a tough situation before and overcome a lot of different challenges and now we've got to respond", Spithill said.

Defending champions the US 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.

New Zealand, which beat Artemis in the challenger final, has fought back formidably since capsizing against the British team in the round-robin phase.

No, we are not, repeat NOT getting ahead of ourselves.

"We'll have to go back and look at that because it was obviously a key moment in the race".

Burling, an America's Cup rookie who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, steered the Kiwis to victories of 49 seconds and 1 minute, 12 seconds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

"Clearly we need to now put everything back on the table", Spithill said.

Racing resumes on Saturday.

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.

"I thought we took a good step forward from yesterday, but it is clear we have to find some speed from somewhere, that is no secret".

"Good boat speed and good manoeuvres, it's turning out quite nicely for us". Coutts successfully defended the Americas Cup in 2000 before jumping to Swiss startup syndicate Alinghi of Switzerland and sweeping his former team in 2003.

"Today we sailed a lot of areas better than we did yesterday", Burling said yesterday. "We have to do that because we know these guys won't be sitting still".

"We know full well if we stand still, Jimmy (Spithill) and Oracle Team USA will catch us so we have plenty of work on in the next five days".

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