New Zealand wins 5th straight vs Oracle in America's Cup

Joy Montgomery
June 25, 2017

He might soon be an America's Cup champion if New Zealand's astoundingly fast design package, of which the cycling system is just one part, whisks them to victory against two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA.

Land Rover BAR team principal and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie said: "We could not be prouder of the Land Rover BAR Academy winning the Red Bull Youth America's Cup".

Oracle Team USA practices for the America's Cup Final on the Great Sound on Tuesday in Hamilton, Bermuda.

But Spithill's been here before.

Oracle were much improved after the five-day break.

This time they're up against a Kiwi team that has been rebuilt since their mind-numbing San Francisco meltdown. He said he feels the Kiwis have been on the favorable end of "a few soft penalties" by the umpires. We were either going to be the laughingstock or the best power source the Cup has seen. "That's good. I love seeing that".

And Emirates Team New Zealand performance coach Murray Jones - who helped mastermind Oracle's fantastic come-from-behind win against TNZ in San Francisco in 2013 - has confirmed the tweaks should make the boat go faster.

But Oracle is still making mistakes, which Spithill acknowledged.

Oracle came back and won Race 6 by 11 seconds, the closest margin so far.

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“If you have half a brain and you know that your legs are stronger than your arms, why wouldnt you give it a go?” van Velthooven said. "We've been there before". They've got different designers, different sailors, different management, whatever, but you look at the number of innovative things that that team has created over the years, it's impressive. "Obviously we're not sailing it as well as we should be". But on the other side, that's pretty exciting that there's quite a bit more left on the table.

Oracle appeared to have made noticeable speed gains since the opening weekend of the match, when Spithill and his crew slumped to four straight losses.

"We changed everything", he said. The Kiwis have had their share of mayhem this spring, including a capsize in the challenger semifinals.

"A little more work tonight and a some more improvement with our sailing and we're a shot at getting a couple more wins tomorrow". "I don't think we sailed that well today, to be honest". We lost the lead, but we kept it together and we were able to get that pass at the top.

To which Spithill responded, "It's just beginning, mate".

Team New Zealand, the hard-luck loser to Oracle in 2013, gained during a wind shift on leg four of the sixth race and passed Oracle in the matchup of 50-foot foiling catamarans.

The Kiwis lead 3-0 in the first-to-seven match.

Team New Zealand's boat could become even faster. Spithill dipped underneath and both crews pushed the protest button.

However, they were penalised again during a tacking duel, deemed to have not given enough room to Team NZ when the boats crossed.

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