Sailing-New Zealand reach match point against US in America's Cup final

But things could change if New Zealand triumph as the winners decide the format of the next cup and the Kiwis are the only team not to have signed up to the deal.

Ainslie has signed up to a framework agreement with the USA and other teams which would mean the event is held every two years in catamarans similar to those being raced in Bermuda.

However, the win also signifies that the clear advantage Emirates Team New Zealand had over their United States rivals in the opening weekend of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton has gone, and that means world-class, exciting racing is guaranteed in the remaining head-to-heads between the two teams fighting for the oldest trophy in worldwide sport. Local heroes TeamBDA, who had exceeded all expectations by reaching the Red Bull Youth America's Cup Final, finished their incredible journey in eighth place, having enjoyed momentous highlights including a fairytale victory in the Final's opening race.

He was keen to heap pressure on the challengers heading into two further races on Monday (NZT).

"It was great to see those boys sailing a little bit better", he offered. He said those mistakes were due to a software glitch on the space-age boat. That's a good position to be in, knowing there is more on the table and that the changes are working, the boat is getting quicker.

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

The second start and we saw a big mistake from Spithill.

"It does remind me of San Francisco", Spithill said.

"I was pleased with how the boys fought back in that second race". With Peter Burling and Blair Tuke leading the team, New Zealand has started the competition confidently and has showed huge power and awareness.

"We know we can do this", Spithill said.

"We're excited", continued Burling. "I don't think we sailed that well today, to be honest". The win stopped United States momentum in its tracks after they won theirfirst win of the series on Saturday.

Oracle started the day trailing 3-0 in the best-of-13 series and in desperate need of turning their flagging fortunes around to get their title defence back on track.

Sailor Ben Ainslie speaks during an interview with Reuters during the America's Cup finals.

The 6-7 knot winds meant foiling was marginal at times, with both ACC boats falling off in tacks.

However, despite the setback, the American team responded spectacularly, closing the gap completely rounding the second gate before taking the lead in the first pass of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, on leg 3/7.

The USA managed to pull ahead on the third leg, but when the boats came together again at close enough quarters to spark protests from both teams it was the USA who were penalized for failing to give New Zealand enough room.

Team New Zealand first won the America's Cup in 1995 when Russell Coutts — now the CEO of Oracle Team USA — skippered a five-race sweep of Dennis Conner off San Diego.

They were penalised twice and had a costly manoeuvre in the first race, allowing the Kiwis to take the first race of the day.

Emirates Team New Zealand has won win its fifth straight race in the America's Cup, benefiting from two penalties against two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill was put on the spot by 1 NEWS sports reporter Abby Wilson as his crew faced the prospect of losing the America's Cup to Emirates Team New Zealand. United States of America however isn't to be eliminated from the tournament since they are crowd favourites.

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

  • Julie Sanders