Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup
Jun 28, 2017, 01:32
It was Spithill and the team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison who in 2013 turned an 8-1 deficit against New Zealand into a 9-8 victory and a successful defence of the oldest trophy in worldwide sport.
It is now Match point Emirates Team New Zealand.
"Hat's off to those guys today, they sailed clean and smart", Spithill said afterwards, adding that the United States 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.
"They (Emirates Team New Zealand) sailed better than us today and made a lot fewer mistakes", conceded Jimmy Spithill on what was a disappointing day for Oracle Team USA.
The Kiwis got right underneath and stalled the American boat on its hulls before launching over the start line to go to match point.
Helmsman Peter Burling ensured there would be no signs of relenting after Team New Zealand moved to the cusp of securing the America's Cup on Monday (NZT).
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..
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.
"We had a really good understanding of what they were trying to be able to do with their starts and a good strategy to oppose it".
The America's Cup, named after the schooner "America" which won it in 1851 off the south coast of England, has only been held by four countries so far, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Go Emirates Team New Zealand you are almost there!
Team NZ narrowly won race seven before a dominant display in the eighth meeting for a 30-second victory to take match point. Though Oracle would shorten that gap during the second half of the race, it was too much to overcome; the Kiwi's led the rest of the way around the track to earn a wire-to-wire 12-second victory that felt far greater.
"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. On Monday, we'll see if Spithill has the makings of another miracle up his sleeve.
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For Oracle Team USA, this is familiar ground, and nobody would write off the Defenders who so memorably staged one of, if not the, greatest comebacks in sport when they pulled back from an eight - one deficit to win the 2013 America's Cup nine - eight against the same rivals.
"And by the end of the first upwind leg Emirates Team New Zealand led by 32".
Spithill said there was a quick crew meeting after Race 8 and he was pleased that the sailors kept their composure.
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