The Kiwis made it four consecutive wins at the 35th America’s Cup against Oracle Team USA on Sunday. Underdogs New Zealand will hold a three-point lead when the race resumes next Saturday.Team New Zealand need to win four more races to pick up their first America’s Cup title since 2003 after two victories opened up a 3-0 lead over Oracle Team USA.
With Olympic 49er gold medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to lead the team, New Zealand have started powerfully and taken advantage of early mistakes approaching the first mark from the US team.
The Kiwis started the 35th edition of the America’s Cup with a negative point after Team USA won the previous qualifiers. That doesn’t appear to have been a disadvantage for New Zealand who accelerated clear after the first mark in the second game.
“That was certainly another good day for us,” said Tuke. “The boat’s going really fast and the guys are doing well to get it around the course nice and smooth.”
But the Americans aren’t to be ruled out of proceedings given their tag as favorites to secure a third straight title. Team USA bounced back from an 8-1 deficit in 2013 against the Kiwis to win 9-8 in the sport’s most captivating episode yet.
“We’ve been here before,” said Oracle captain Jimmy Spithill. “It’s not over. We’ve got five days now, very important days. We really need to use those days wisely. We’ve got to get faster, it’s pretty obvious.”
rd/ (AFP, RTRE)