Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Burling, Team New Zealand win Race 7 in America's Cup

Sammy Stanley | 29 June, 2017, 09:00

Because Oracle won the qualifiers, the Kiwis started this America's Cup final on the Great Sound with a negative point.

But Spithill's been here before.

"We're just going to keep pushing forward", Burling said. Spithill was 30 when he won it in 2010.

Oracle came back and won Race 6 by 11 seconds, the closest margin so far. "They sailed clean and smart", the 37-year-old Spithill said. "We've been there before".

"It does remind me of San Francisco", Spithill said.

"We're also very happy to take some pretty good gains in the starts and I think that was the main difference today".

Join our live blog to see whether Team New Zealand can extend their lead. "We got asked some questions yesterday and I feel we answered them with our performance on the water". He said those mistakes were due to a software glitch on the space-age boat. "Obviously we're not sailing it as well as we should be. Pete, Lenny (skipper Glenn Ashby) and the boys do a fantastic job of getting the boat round the course".

"It's what we've been aiming for for three years - to win that final race", Burling told Toyota. The Kiwis have had their share of mayhem this spring, including a capsize in the challenger semifinals.

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The US win means the racing could continue beyond today. "They outsailed us and had a better boat. really well done".

To which Spithill responded, "It's just beginning, mate". With the average speeds of the boats nearly identical it was a case of who would make the least mistakes, both skippers later admitting to errors as the lead chopped and changed.

The lead then changed hands twice on leg two but it was Jimmy Spithill's team which held a slender 12 second advantage at the third gate.

But Oracle closed the distance and the boats were even as they went through the gate mark five. The Kiwis had a bad maneuver and Spithill sailed into the lead and on to victory. 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.

It was the deciding factor in both of Team NZ's day four wins, believes Burling. That was enough to allow Burling to speed well ahead.

After two defeats on Sunday, Spithill invoked the memory of 2013 like a mantra - recalling the team's remarkable fightback from an 8-1 deficit to triumph 9-8 over the Kiwis in San Francisco.

The US team have spent the week working on making improvements to their 50-foot foiling catamaran in an effort to match the superior speed of their rivals, who are using a revolutionary cycling system with which their sailors provide the power needed to control the boat.

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