America’s Cup Match – Day Four Race Reports - Facing match point

Bermuda (BDA) - 35th America's Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton, Day 4 ¬&# ACEA 2017 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

With Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA winning the sixth race on Saturday to get on the board, anticipation was heightened for close racing on Sunday.

But it didn’t work out that way. With an advantage off the startline in both races, Emirates Team New Zealand was able to comfortably protect its leading position around the race course and extend its advantage in the series to 6-1.

The first team to earn 7 points will win the America’s Cup.

Conditions were similar to Saturday, with a Southerly wind in the 9-10 knot range.

America’s Cup Match – Race Seven Report

There was less engagement in the pre-start to this race with ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill taking up position to windward of the New Zealand boat. But with just a few seconds to go to the start, Spithill took a late little jog to weather and that meant the team trailed across the starting line by just one-second. Keeping the pressure on, by the bottom gate the Kiwi lead was just five-seconds.

ORACLE TEAM USA followed the Kiwis through the gate and it took three tacks to break a tight cover. Spithill and tactician Slingsby broke free to the right hand side of the race course, but it didn’t pay, with New Zealand finding more wind on the left and extending its lead. The Kiwis again took up a covering position, but now with a larger lead.

By the first upwind gate, New Zealand had extended to a 32-second lead. But ORACLE TEAM USA found more pressure with a split at the top and began to close the gap early on the leg. But after the first gybe, New Zealand had the wind advantage and extended out to a 40-second lead. Although ORACLE TEAM USA closed the gap dramatically on the final legs, the Kiwis held on to take a 5-1 lead in the series with a 12-second win.

"We did one little turn up that we didn't need to do before the start and we just couldn't get back into it," Spithill said.

Crew list for Race Seven:

Skipper / Helmsman -- Jimmy Spithill
Wing Trimmer -- Kyle Langford
Tactician / Grinder -- Tom Slingsby
Grinder -- Louis Sinclair
Grinder – Sam Newton
Grinder -- Ky Hurst

America’s Cup Match – Race Eight Report

ORACLE TEAM USA found itself slow and vulnerable in this pre-start, and the Kiwis took advantage, swooping in for a hook and a luff that left Spithill and crew trailing into mark one by 12-seconds.

Spithill and Slingsby engineered a split at the bottom gate but Team New Zealand soon came over to blanket the American defender in a tight cover the rest of the way up the beat.

Team New Zealand was able to protect from there and is now on match point, leading 6-1.

"We couldn’t avoid the hook and from there it was very difficult to catch them," Spithill said after the race.

"But you have take your hat off to those guys, they sailed well."

Crew list for Race Eight:

Skipper / Helmsman -- Jimmy Spithill
Wing Trimmer -- Kyle Langford
Tactician / Grinder -- Tom Slingsby
Grinder -- Cooper Dressler
Grinder – Sam Newton
Grinder -- Graeme Spence


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