ORACLE TEAM USA sees off the British challenger in first Sunday race

Bermuda (BDA) - 35th America's Cup 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers, Day 2, Live Photo

A difficult pre-start in the first of three scheduled races for ORACLE TEAM USA on Sunday, saw the American defender trail Land Rover BAR off the starting line.

Both teams were late for the start after pushing to leeward of the starting line and very slow across the line. ORACLE TEAM USA even had to tack to make the start, while Land Rover BAR pinched up to make it around the starting mark and lead around mark one by nine seconds.

The British challenger held the lead through the first gate but on the first upwind, ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill and tactician Tom Slingsby threaded together several windshifts to make a pass and lead by nine-seconds.

Shortly after the rounding, Land Rover BAR had a big crash down, losing several more boat lengths and ORACLE TEAM USA was able to hold its lead the rest of the way to take the win by 39-seconds.

"Tommy called a nice split at the bottom gate and had us in phase with the shifts the rest of the way," Spithill said. "The guys dug in and the boat is looking quicker every day, so we just have to keep it going."

Crew on board for Sunday's first race:

Skipper/Helmsman --- Jimmy Spithill
Wing Trimmer --- Kyle Langford
Tactician/Grinder --- Tom Slingsby
Grinder --- Louis Sinclair
Grinder --- Sam Newton
Grinder --- Graeme Spence

ORACLE TEAM USA is currently 3-0 in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers and is top of the leaderboard with 4 points.

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