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America's Cup Day 1: Two Wins But Plenty to Improve

19 June 2017

But Emirates Team New Zealand was able to live with Oracle Team USA, and after both boats flew to mark 1 nearly level the Kiwi yacht found a click more pace to take the lead.

Peter Burling, the Kiwis helmsman, and his team of cyclists are now four wins away from seizing the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000.

However, it was day two to the Kiwis again, with Emirates Team New Zealand recording two more back-to-back victories over the Defenders of the America's Cup, putting themselves three - zero up in the first-to-seven series that will determine the victor of the 35th America's Cup.

But the post-race race words of Jimmy Spithill will sound a warning and serve as a reminder for Emirates Team New Zealand; "We have been here before", says the American skipper. "We've been in a tough situation before and overcome a lot of different challenges and now we've got to respond", Spithill said.

Although they've won the first four races, the Kiwis lead Oracle 3-0.

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Jimmy Spithill's ORACLE TEAM USA made the worst possible start to their defence of the "Auld Mug" as they were handed a penalty for crossing the start line fractionally early.

"The motivation is always there, the team is hungry and we're a very competitive group, but we are also a candid group and it is quite clear we need to make some changes".

Well-funded Oracle Team USA - Ellison is worth an estimated $55 billion - has five days to come up with some answers to try to counter the spot-on design innovations by the scrappy, underfunded Kiwis, who almost folded after their epic collapse in the 2013 America's Cup on San Francisco Bay.

A win by 49 seconds in race three was bettered by a winning margin of 1min 12sec in race four.

"We know if we stand still, they'll catch us".

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The light, shifting conditions have also suited the Kiwis, who have made the right choices on which foils to use on the ends of their daggerboards. However, in similar scenes to day one's two races, a small mistake was to prove pivotal as a poor jibe by Oracle Team USA saw the American boat make a small splashdown into the water, resulting in a loss of momentum that they were then unable to claw back. He has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke.

Race 4 was to follow.

"We had a little issue on board during the first start", said Spithill. "I thought we were faster than yesterday but unfortunately it's just not enough. We're not going to hide from the truth".

Burling has barely engaged in the start box, keeping out of trouble and relying on boat speed to hand them an early advantage on the first two legs.

With the cyclors working overtime to produce more oil pressure the kiwi's were able to pull off a series of manouevres which allowed them to hold its slender lead.

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