Spithill, Oracle get swagger back with 1st America's Cup win

Its no matter to Spithill that Oracle merely cut Team New Zealands lead in the first-to-seven regatta to 4-1.

"We are looking forward to taking in race four with Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand battling it out, as well as walking on the pink sand beaches, having a Dark 'n Stormy and performing all the hits and entertaining you".

In the meantime, two more races are scheduled for Sunday.

Spithill has been here before.

"We worked very very hard those five days and we sailed probably five times as much as the other guys and did a lot of work on the shore and I'd just like to see the boat go quicker", Spithill said, adding that they would be doing more overnight.

Instead, Spithill said it was about eliminating errors in sailing technique in a boat that he felt had the pace to keep the Cup match alive.

Not only did Team USA make their boat faster during a five-day break in racing, but Spithill, who was a pretty fair boxer during his youth in Australia, regained his edge as a master at mind games. You saw it in the Artemis race when the Umpires admitted they made a mistake.

New Zealand then displayed masterful control of their innovative cycle-powered boat, foiling all the way around the course en route to a 30-second win.

If he can show the same composure on Monday, the man who has become the face of the New Zealand team could win himself a place in yachting history.

"We clearly just made too many mistakes today".

But although the New Zealanders got away, the United States champions recovered well and fought their way back into the race, finding the speed which had evaded them in previous encounters.

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. The Kiwis had a bad maneuver and Spithill sailed into the lead and on to victory.

Kiwi skipper Peter Burling was in laconic form after the holders won an exciting sixth race by 11 seconds off Bermuda. That was enough to allow Burling to speed well ahead.

Even with the wide margin in Race 5, Oracle Team USA looked faster than it did in getting humbled in four races last weekend.

They built on that with a flawless performance, racing on their foils all the way and stretching out to hold a 43sec at gate five before cruising to the finish line for a comfortable 30sec win.

Oracle Team USA dips a hull in the water during the eighth race of America's Cup sailing competition against Emirates Team New Zealand, Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

  • Salvatore Jensen