Oracle skipper Spithill tough on, off water in America's Cup

Throughout the build-up to the America's Cup Match series, New Zealand's Peter Burling has looked the most relaxed helmsmen among the five challenger crews, although qualifying has been testing, and included a near-catastrophic capsize.

Peter Burling is thrilled that Emirates Team New Zealand were able to reward the travelling army of Kiwis and those watching at home with another pair of wins in the Americas Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

But plenty of attention has been paid to this area with Burling working hard with coaches Rod Davis, Murray Jones and Ray Davies, as well as his afterguard. Coutts successfully defended the America's Cup in 2000 before jumping to Swiss startup syndicate Alinghi of Switzerland and sweeping his former team in 2003.

The gains have been swift and remarkable and have quickly negated what was seen as a huge advantage area for the aggressive Spithill on the wheel of the Oracle Team USA boat.

Two victories on the start line on Sunday were followed by two more on Monday and helped the Kiwis to four consecutive wins and a 3-0 lead on the scoreboard.

"I think it's pretty obvious - these guys are faster", Spithill responded when asked the difference so far between the two boats.

Peter Burling, 26, the helmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand won both of the starts against Jimmy Spithill, despite having less match racing experience, which has earned the Kiwi team a reputation as underdogs.

Race Two: Emirates Team New Zealand beat ORACLE TEAM USA by 1 minute and 28 seconds.

In Race 4, the Kiwis held a slim lead at the first mark and simply pulled away. "We've faced a lot of adversity over the last couple of weeks with things like the capsize, but our shore crew really dug deep to get us a boat that is fully back to 100 per cent and we are just really excited to get into it".

It's a spectacle that would be unrecognizable to America's Cup sailors of even two decades ago - and other-worldly to those of 1851, when a syndicate of NY businessmen sailed the schooner America across the Atlantic and humbled the best of the British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight in what marked the birth of the America's Cup.

"That's what you have to do to win yacht races - you have to perform under pressure".

Cammas, who showed his determination by battling back to the peak levels of fitness required to sail the demanding boats after a serious injury in training in late 2015 almost severed his foot, sees his future with the America's Cup, which remains his goal.

The defenders have already had a chance to show just how competitive they are. It was a matter of staying error-free and still seeking personal improvement.

"Today was a really good day for us and we feel like we improved a lot on yesterday", Burling told a news conference. "It felt like we were still a long way from where we could be".

"The racing is actually really close".

Now, the teams will renew hostilities with the oldest trophy in global sport on the line once again.

"We sailed well but we feel like we were far from flawless today".

HAMILTON, Bermuda Jimmy Spithill isnt afraid of a fight. We are dying to know.

Aside from how they sail and who wins the tactical battles, there are other differences that could decide victory, including how they control their wings and foils, the hydraulic systems and the way the work is shared out between the six crew.

Burling's ease on the water may be because he has most time to sail the boat and focus on tactics.

"But we are far from where we want to be".

  • Julie Sanders