Spithill skippers Oracle to 1st win in America's Cup

Posted June 29, 2017

America's Cup match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

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

Spithill said the powerhouse American-flagged crew - backed by technology from Oracle Corp. and Airbus - continues to make too many mistakes.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill blinked in the "pre-start" and allowed his rival Peter Burling to get ahead over the line, with the New Zealand team then extending their lead through the race.

"We'll be going straight back out on the water today to work on a few things". "We thought we'd be able to pull the manoeuvrer off".

"We all saw today that the boat was faster", he said.

"It does remind me of San Francisco", Spithill said. "We will come back tomorrow swinging and ready to fight", said the 37-year-old Australian.

"We worked very hard for those five days and probably sailed five times as much as the other guys", Spithill said.

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After defending in 2000, Coutts jumped ship to Alinghi and led a five-race sweep of Team New Zealand.

"We're just excited we've got the opportunity to do that now". Potentially, in a situation like this you could see a team split apart, but when we got ashore everyone pulled together because we know this isn't over. It was nice to get those first wins and take a lead. In the second race, the New Zealander's achieved 100 percent "fly time", meaning they sailed on their foils - through every tack and jibe - for the entire duration of the contest. I think we showed today that we're a pretty tough bunch. They're very young. All of them bar the skipper are under 30. We felt like we had minimal risk the whole race.

Burling sped away to win by 2 minutes, 4 seconds, the biggest margin of the match.

"All of our onboard gear had us behind the line at the start but it was wrong", bemoaned Spithill of the early penalty. Spithill blinked first, making the turn before Burling and slowly inching closer to the Kiwis as they headed towards gate two.

Jimmy Spithill made history as Oracle Team USA gave themselves hope by getting up and running in the America's Cup to trail Emirates Team New Zealand 4-1.

Their "cyclors", including an Olympic cycling medallist, have kept their heads down throughout the contest, pedalling furiously to provide enough oil in the system to allow the boat to perform nearly balletic pirouette manoeuvres on the water. It proved to be a double whammy for Oracle Team USA.

Oracle Team USAs upgrades seemed to have paid off with some additional speed in Matches 5 and 6, the first races after the five-day layoff.