Emirates Team New Zealand has the edge over Oracle Team USA after winning the first two races in the America’s Cup. The Kiwis lead 1-0 in the first-to-seven series, which continues with races three and four on Sunday.Emirates Team New Zealand threw down the gauntlet on the opening day of the 35th America’s Cup on Saturday with two surprise victories over defending champions Oracle Team New Zealand.
The Kiwi boat showed superior speed in both races in the first direct comparison of the high-tech 50-foot (15 meter) catamarans’ performance.
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.
But Spithill, trying to pilot the USA to a third straight America’s Cup title, was seconds early across the startline of race one and the Americans never recovered from the penalty, as Team New Zealand erased the US boat’s one-point advantage to level overall at 0-0.
Burling had New Zealand in front at the start in the second race and went on to claim a victory that puts the Kiwis ahead in the series, even though they began a point down thanks to the bonus point to Team USA for topping the earlier qualifying regatta.
mds (AFP, Reuters)