Kiwis pedaling toward possible America's Cup upset

Jun 25, 2017, 01:03
Kiwis pedaling toward possible America's Cup upset

Emirates Team New Zealand, right, leads Oracle Team USA, left, during the fourth race of Americas Cup competition, Sunday in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The New Zealand team started the competition with a negative point as United States of America won the qualifiers but that didn't prove to be any kind of disadvantage to the ambitions Kiwis team who cleared the first mark in the second game itself.

Team New Zealand gained during a wind shift on leg four of the sixth race and passed Oracle.

Oracle's boat clearly was faster than the opening weekend wipeout, when the Kiwis won four straight races by margins from 30 to 88 seconds.

Diehard fans were able to come down to the Tauranga waterfront to watch the races live on the big screen this morning, with the Crown and Badger serving takeaway breakfasts and coffee for those who got up early.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill isn't helping his cause with mistakes.

“I think they said, ‘Ah, we heard rumors that youve been testing but we never thought youd actually bloody do it, “ van Velthooven said.

The underfunded but always crafty Kiwis, the hard-luck losers in the 2013 Americas Cup, began secretly working on the cycling system three years ago in Auckland.

"Now we've got confidence", the 37-year-old Spithill said. That was enough for Burling to speed away around the seven-leg course for a 49-second victory.

Without time to make major modifications to the boat, technique will be key against the Kiwis, who have been spot-on in maneuvering their boat, especially in light to medium breeze.

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In Race 5, Spithill crossed the starting line a split second too soon and had to drop two lengths behind Team New Zealand.

In this June 17, 2017, photo, cyclors for Emirates Team New Zealand pedal as cyclor Josh Junior makes his way across the boat, above, during the third race of America's Cup sailing competition in Hamilton, Bermuda.

But 26-year-old New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling believes the challengers can make strides before Saturday as well as they try to bring the Cup - the world's oldest worldwide sporting trophy - to New Zealand for a third time after Black Magic's triumphs in 1995 ad 2000. Spithill dipped underneath. Both boats pushed the protest button, and the umpires decided Spithill didn't give Burling enough room.

"You'd have to put your money behind Team New Zealand at the moment with the boat speed they've shown which seems to be coming from their foil and wing package", Smyth told the Weekend Herald.

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