New Zealand extend lead over USA in America's Cup final

Bruno Trouble says Team New Zealand's decision to crew Aotearoa with young sailors was correct
Bruno Trouble says Team New Zealand's decision to crew Aotearoa with young sailors was correct
Author

29 June, 2017

Racing is scheduled to resume at 2.00pm on Monday 26th June with races nine and ten in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, taking place on Bermuda's Great Sound.

Oracle Team USA, owned by software tycoon Larry Ellison, won by 11 seconds, the closest margin in the first-to-seven match, to cut the Kiwis' lead to 4-1.

Oracle finished Race 6 ahead by six seconds to take their first point in the 35th Americas Cup.

But Spithill's been here before.

To add insult to injury, Burling waved at this rivals - as it to say, "See ya", - as the Kiwi's flew away and across the starting line with Oracle 18 seconds in arrears.

He does, however, feel that the competition would be better sticking with its current format, including the foiling 50-foot catamarans, which have provided exciting high-speed racing with plenty of lead changes and drama.

"I'll do whatever is good for the team", he said. Spithill was 30 when he won it in 2010.

"Looking back we needed to take more time to make key decisions in our strategy".

But in the second race there were no such errors and Spithill, who was wearing a bandage on his wrist after injuring it during a hard week's training, got away at the start.

Oracle Team USAs upgrades seemed to have paid off with some additional speed in Matches 5 and 6, the first races after the five-day layoff. When we entered this we knew we were in for one hell of a battle. "We've been there before".

Spithill's fightback in San Francisco in 2013 ranks as one of the biggest ever sporting reversals, overturning an 8-1 New Zealand lead to win the "Auld Mug" by 9-8. That was the key thing That's why today was very, very important.

"They didn't have many chances to get back in the race", Burling said from on board his catamaran at the finish. We've all got the same understanding of what we want to achieve and we are all on the same page.

Fire tests: cladding from 60 blocks across 25 areas fail safety checks
Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the same firm, Rydon, that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16. Look, you've got to err on the side of caution.

There were two quick gybes to get around the last mark - a massive ask of the grinders at the end of the second race.

Spithill said Oracle made too many changes to the boat to mention. "We will learn from that", said Tuke.

He said it was a great opportunity for the shore team to work on their boat. The Kiwis have had their share of mayhem this spring, including a capsize in the challenger semifinals.

Now Burling could become the youngest helmsman to hoist sailing's greatest prize.

Burling, who won Olympic gold past year in the 49er skiff class with fellow crew member Blair Tuke, has exuded a disarming calm and has now won a place in yachting history.

To which Spithill responded, "It's just beginning, mate". They made fewer mistakes and they deserved to win two races.

Team New Zealand gained during a wind shift on leg four of the sixth race and passed Oracle. But this year they have no Ben Ainslie to go to, and not even a glimmer of hope.

He crossed ahead on the third leg. Spithill dipped underneath. Both boats pushed the protest button, and the umpires decided Spithill had not given Burling enough room.

"It makes life a little easier when you get off the start 14 seconds ahead", said Burling, who some thought would struggle when matching wits with two-time Cup victor Spithill.

Leading at the first mark, New Zealand were never really threatened en route to a 12-second win.

"They sailed very well and won two races".


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