Oracle skipper Spithill tough on, off water in America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand made a flying start in the America's Cup final with two wins over Oracle Team USA which left the Kiwis 1-0 ahead after the first day of racing in Bermuda's Great Sound on Saturday. But its 50-foot catamaran came off its foils during a bad gybe and buried its bows in the water, allowing the Kiwis to speed back ahead and open a lead of more than 300 yards.

Both cartoons were drawn by San Francisco artist Elena Achilli, the first one apparently after Spithill skippered Oracle Team USA to one of the greatest comebacks in sports by winning eight straight races after being down 8-1 in 2013 on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in worldwide sports. "We're not going to hide from the truth".

"We sailed better today but we also made a lot of mistakes and we are a long way from where we want to be", says Burling.

"Today was a really good day for us and we feel like we improved a lot on yesterday", Burling told a news conference.

Hes already going strong as he attempts to win a third straight Americas Cup with Oracle Team USA, the powerhouse squad owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison.

The Kiwi syndicate have won four-from-four races in the Cup Match off Bermuda so far, having started one point behind, and now need another four to clinch the Auld Mug.

"I don't know what you're talking about", Spithill said, all mock innocence when asked about New Zealand media reports that two bow sections had been seen being carried from the Americans' base to that of SoftBank Team Japan, the vanquished would-be challenger with whom the United States of America have had a close working relationship. For Emirates Team New Zealand it's the culmination of a long and hard journey along which they've had to overcome all manner of obstacles.

The challenging team showed their dominance in light winds, pulling away for convincing victories in all four races. We've got to get faster.

"We're happy to take those four wins because it is no secret that we are here to win the America's Cup".

As both boats headed towards the turn the gap was down to just over three seconds, and it looked like the United States team might record their first win of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, but it was not to be.

In relatively light winds, Burling continued to sail smoothly, extending the Kiwis' advantage to a healthy margin of one minute and 52 seconds over their rivals by the fifth gate.

Oracle came in with a 10-race winning streak against Team New Zealand, including eight at the end of the 2013 regatta and two in the round-robins this year.

Team USA must find a solution to the superior upwind speed of Team NZ's catamaran and devise a way to rattle helmsman Burling, who has been flawless with his starts and decision-making so far, nullifying the proven match-racing ability of Spithill.

In the first race, Spithill was over the starting line early, forcing him to drop two boat lengths behind to clear the penalty.

"The up-side, for us, is there's a lot of technology out there now", Spithill said. Emirates Team New Zealand faces Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup sailing m. That was enough for Burling to speed away around the seven-leg course for a 49-second victory.

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