New Zealand pile pressure on USA in America's Cup final

Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:50pm EDT
 
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By Tessa Walsh

HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) - Emirates Team New Zealand ramped up the pressure on defending champions Oracle Team USA with their fourth successive win in the America's Cup final to go 3-0 up after the second day of racing on Sunday.

Oracle had entered the series with a one-point advantage from an earlier regatta, which New Zealand wiped out after winning the first race on Saturday.

The Kiwi team continued to excel in light-wind sailing and again showed superior speed and slick maneuvers, whipping their 50-foot foiling catamaran around the course at a maximum speed of 38.5 kph.

"It's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes," Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA's skipper said at a post-race news conference.

Spithill's Oracle team now face an uphill battle to win the 35th edition of the competition, where the trophy is earned by the first team to reach seven points.

New Zealand are closing in on winning the America's Cup, having claimed four of the eight races they need to recapture the world's oldest international sporting competition.

Spithill is no stranger to adversity as he and his team made one of the biggest-ever comebacks in sporting history when they rallied from 8-1 down against New Zealand to win the 'Auld Mug' in San Francisco in 2013 when the winner was the first to nine.

"This team has been here before. We've been in a tough situation before and overcome a lot of different challenges and now we've got to respond," Spithill said.   Continued...

 
Sailing - America's Cup Finals - Race four - Hamilton, Bermuda - June 18, 2017 - Emirates Team New Zealand leads Oracle Team USA in Race four of America's Cup Finals.  REUTERS/Mike Segar