Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup

by Steven Clarke June 28, 2017, 1:30
Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup

After splitting Saturday's two races, Spithill piled on the Kiwis. To add insult to injury, Burling waved at this rivals - as it to say, "See ya", - as the Kiwi's flew away and across the starting line with Oracle 18 seconds in arrears. Weve all got the same understanding of what we want to achieve and we are all on the same page.

"Hat's off to those guys today, they sailed clean and smart", Spithill said afterwards, adding that the USA team would fight to the end and had staged a comeback from a similar position back in 2013 in San Francisco when the Kiwis suffered a soul-crushing collapse that kept them from winning the oldest trophy in global sports.

“Despite the lead, we wont get ahead of ourselves because we still know we have a job to do and its still an incredibly tough ask.”. It was a simple move made to precision: the Kiwi's got to leeward of the Americans and took them head to wind.

"It makes life a little easier when you get off the start 14 seconds ahead", said Burling, who some thought would struggle when matching wits with two-time Cup victor Spithill.

Spithill said there was a quick crew meeting after Race 8 and he was pleased that the sailors kept their composure.

New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby, who has a low-key but critical role "trimming" the giant wing with a games console-type device, was the only member of the crew defeated in 2013 in this year's winning combination.

Underfunded Team New Zealand nearly folded after that debacle, but has bounced back with a remarkably fast boat design that includes a radical cycling grinding system.

After stalling Spithill in the start box, Burling quickly turned the Kiwi boat towards the start line, speeding up past 20 knots as Oracle desperately tried to get moving.

"That was exactly what the boys needed. we've had a good improvement on our boat speed today and I think another step tomorrow would be great", USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said.

At 6-1, the Kiwi crew need just one more win to win the America's Cup for the first time since 2000, coming up against the holders that cruelly denied them in San Francisco four years ago. Teammates Andy Maloney, second from right, and Josh Junior, right, look on.

Burling showered his jubilant team mates and support crew with champagne after their sleek black, red and white catamaran crossed the line, having dominated the race from early on.

Team New Zealand's dominance so far saw Team USA's Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill offer to stand down.

Helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand benefited from another mistake at the start by skipper Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA to win Race 7 of the America's Cup on the Great Sound on Sunday.

England's Princess Anne, center, gestures after the eighth race of America's Cup sailing competition between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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