U.S. beats Kiwis on opening day of America's Cup qualifiers

Each of the six teams - Oracle Team USA (the defenders), Artemis (Sweden), Land Rover BAR (GB), Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupama Team France and Softbank Team Japan - race each other twice in one-on-one races.

Team New Zealand, who fell to Oracle's mighty comeback in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco, were a flawless two-for-two on Sunday, beating Team Japan and Land Rover BAR.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill caught the Kiwis as the 50-foot, foiling catamarans rounded the mark onto the sixth of seven legs and pulled away to win by six seconds.

As cup holders, Team Oracle USA could argue their boat is technologically more advanced.

The match between the Japanese crew and the New Zealand team was a poignant one for SoftBank Team Japan skipper Dean Barker, who was dropped by Emirates Team New Zealand after he lost the 2013 America's Cup to Oracle Team USA in San Francisco. They started the day with one bonus point and added two more points after easily winning their two races.

Amanda Hardingham is the head of human factors at Land Rover, with a team of 37 people working on products from concept to production, effectively thinking about the design and engineering of how you might sit in a vehicle.

The British team, Land Rover BAR, are led by Ainslie, who was part of Oracle Team USA when they won the cup in sensational fashion in 2013.

Scott now finds himself in Bermuda assisting his one-time rival in pursuit of America's Cup glory but he insists he is driven by a personal desire.

High winds cancelled racing on the final day of the America's Cup World Series Portsmouth event - leaving Sir Ben...

Oracle recovered from a bad start against Land Rover BAR and passed the Brits about halfway through the race.

The Sydney product made his debut in 1999 as a 19-year-old at the helm of Young Australia, before becoming the youngest skipper to win a Cup in 2010 by steering Team USA to victory. However, refusing to let their heads drop, Groupama Team France responded in spectacular fashion, foiling smoothly to gain a 22 second lead at gate 3, then staying ahead at the next two gates. Commenting from on the water, Joey Newton of Oracle Team USA suggested that Land Rover BAR's port hull may have been holed and was perhaps slowly taking in water and therefore heavier.

When asked is Emirates Team New Zealand ready?

"They've always been invited basically to every meeting to discuss the future of the event, so I think Grant Dalton has shown he is a lone wolf", Spithill said.

The Premier said, "So much has been done in so little time".

Throughout the current Cup cycle there has been a palpable tension between Team NZ and the rest of the teams, with the Kiwi syndicate finding themselves on the other side of the divide on most of the key issues facing the event.

Team USA is due to open the challenger round-robin against Groupama Team France. "Jimmy Spithill really wanted the leeward end at the start but we positioned ourselves nicely, came in with a lot of pace and managed to get the hook on them". Burling turned a 13-second deficit into a 17-second buffer and covered his rival to the finish.

"The boat seemed quick and I think we sailed okay but we got caught out by some needless mistakes which we need to address".

  • Zachary Reyes