Emirates Team New Zealand take early control against Oracle Team USA

Emirates Team New Zealand take early control against Oracle Team USA

Emirates Team New Zealand take early control against Oracle Team USA

Jimmy Spithill has labelled the next five days "the most important of the campaign" as Oracle Team USA try to pull off another great escape against Team New Zealand.

The first race in the contest to win the world's oldest sporting trophy was fought out on Bermuda's Great Sound by Oracle Team USA, skippered by Jimmy Spithill and Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed by Peter Burling.

However, in similar scenes to day one's two races, a small mistake was to prove pivotal as a poor jibe by ORACLE TEAM USA saw the American boat make a small splashdown into the water, resulting in a loss of momentum that they were then unable to claw back.

Oracle earned a bonus point for winning the qualifiers, but it was actually a negative point for the Kiwis, so the first-race win merely erased that.

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Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America's Cup before he turns 38.

"Jimmy (Spithill) and ORACLE TEAM USA sailed really well to put us under a lot of pressure, but we managed to keep our composure and sail really well". They have also made the right choices on which foils to use on the ends of their daggerboards.

After going into the competition one point down, the New Zealanders needed to win eight races to win the America's Cup, the world's oldest worldwide sporting competition.

This is a rematch of that epic regatta, when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Oracle Team USA won eight straight races on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in global sports.

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Even to the untrained eye, it seemed our big cat was much the faster boat in the light, albeit tricky, winds, but Spithill claimed it was much too soon to draw conclusions on boat speed.

Meanwhile, here is New Zealand cyclor Simon Van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in the Men's Keirin at London 2012, to explain why light winds equal hard grind for the boat's muscle men. The Kiwis used the same foils they did in speeding to two victories on Saturday while the American-backed crew appeared to use two different foils.

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a “cyclor” grinding system. Olympic rowing champion Joe Sullivan replaced him for Race 4.

And we all know what Spithill will have to say if that happens. Whether it's system related, appendage related, sailing technique or strategy, we are going to look at absolutely everything.

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The Kiwis were simply imperious, once again dominating in the start box before opening unassailable leads over an impotent-looking Oracle, who have lost every leg of the Match so far.

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