New Zealand beats Oracle in America’s Cup opener in Bermuda

Cyclors: It grabbed the headlines ever since Sail-World.com’s Richard Gladwell broke the story that Emirates Team New Zealand were using cycle power as opposed to the arm-grinders all the other teams chose.

The latest generation of twin-hulled America’s Cup catamarans, featuring towering, 78-foot fixed-wing sails, can reach speeds of more than 50 miles per hour (80.5 km/h) as they rise above the water, virtually flying on their hydrofoils.

Emirates Team New Zealand have won the first four races in the 35th America’s Cup Match.

Having started the day on minus one, Emirates Team New Zealand are one up in the first to seven series.

There’s now a five day gap before racing resumes and Oracle plan to make the a lot of them.

Team USA bounced back from an 8-1 deficit in 2013 against the Kiwis to win 9-8 in the sport’s most captivating episode yet.

“Clearly we weren’t sailing at our best”.

“It’s pretty pleasing for us as a group to be able to win by that much with so many errors around the track”, Burling said before the contenders headed out for race two.

Oracle does have history on its side.

Peter Burling steered Emirates Team New Zealand to another runaway victory against Jimmy Spithill and two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA in Race 3 of the America’s Cup on Sunday to remain undefeated in the showdown on the Great Sound.

Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby (rear) has been using a mystery black box to control the wingsail. “I think everybody showed out there our team’s really hungry to keep learning, keep moving forward, keep improving”, Burling, who won Olympic 49er gold in Rio past year, said.

However, once again Emirates Team New Zealand gave their rivals a glimmer of hope in the closing stages as ORACLE TEAM USA dramatically cut the gap to Emirates Team New Zealand on the run to the fifth mark.

“The motivation is always there”, said Spithill, who is trying to win the America’s Cup for the third straight time before he turns 38.

“These are the best boats, the two best crews and we’re both highly motivated to win”.

“I think what happened is that we lost a rudder”, revealed Spithill, reflecting on the manoeuvre that all but ended their challenge. Out teams really hungry to keep learning, keep moving forward, keep improving. Of course, unless there is a drastic last-minute rule change (this is the America’s Cup so it can not be ruled out), we know Ainslie will not be coming to the rescue. They won by 30 seconds, still showing their dominance in light wind. The one-design elements narrow the range for major change, and teams are limited in the number of all-important foils they can make.

Bertrand believes Burling is tough because of his dominance in winning the Olympic gold medal in the 49er class at Rio de Janeiro last summer with Blair Tuke, a Team New Zealand grinder.

Races 3 and 4 are scheduled Sunday.