Sailing-How the America's Cup races will decide the victor

In the first clash of the syndicates since the epic 2013 Cup Match in San Francisco, Team USA prevailed by a narrow six-second margin.

"I wasn't really sure that we were going to be able to race after that because your number one concern is the boat's structure".

"The boat flew up pretty high, and slid sideways into us then landed on our hull".

Oracle Team USA's Jimmy Spithill simply sailed very well to pass the Brits by Mark 3, rounding with an 8-second lead.

"We had a sideways slip just as Dean (Barker) came in and got the leeward overlap".

Ah yes, foiling. It's all the rage in sailing and nowhere does it get more buzz than in the America's Cup. He hit the dock while returning from a practice session on March 22 and then ran into the back of Emirates Team New Zealand during a practice race on May 16, causing significant damage that took the Kiwis three days to fix.

No doubt about it: that collision cost them the race, and Ainslie's reputation as being ever-so-slightly psycho on the race course just got burnished.

Toss in a fleet of fast, space-age catamarans sailing on Bermuda's Great Sound and the 35th America's Cup will be like none before it.

It was a rematch of the 2013 America's Cup, when Oracle won eight straight races to cap one of the greatest comebacks in sports.

Oracle went 2-0 while Land Rover BAR, Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing of Sweden and SoftBank Team Japan all went 1-1.

"It's good to get back out there against them", said Spithill, an Australian.

Teams can rotate up to two crewmen between races.

But this is certainly the best financed bid for decades, with Ainslie hoping to go one better than two other knights, Sir Thomas Lipton - who lost five consecutive America's Cup matches in the early 20th century - and Sir Thomas Sopwith, a two-time losing finalist in the 1930s. Oracle will then train on its own while the challengers sail their semifinals and finals.

While Oracle finished the day with a dominant display against Team Japan, they were forced to come from behind against BAR, ultimately winning by 39 seconds before the Artemis upset.

The Defender now gets out of the way, with the top four Challengers split into two Semi-Finals (best of 9) with the victor of each match to meet in the Final (best of 9) to determine who will take on Defender in the America's Cup Match.

With a 15-0 record at the helm in America's Cup finals matches, he achieved legendary status as a sailor.

Team NZ and Oracle race.

'We have the two bonus points going into this initial round, from the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series win, which will hopefully be very useful but we also have a lot of support, especially from our partners and investors and it means a lot for the whole team - that they believe in us.

The British looked strong in beating Artemis Racing by 11 seconds.

Ahead of their opening race Ainslie admits he and Percy - an Olympic team-mate in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London - have not been quite so friendly in recent weeks but, should his team not deliver, there is no-one he'd like to win more.

  • Zachary Reyes