Burling, Team New Zealand win Race 7 in America's Cup


It's no matter to Spithill that Oracle merely cut Team New Zealand's lead in the first-to-seven regatta to 4-1.

But Spithill's been here before.

Now, Spithill and his mates are in the same position they found themselves in during the last America's Cup in San Francisco - on the brink of elimination to a New Zealand squad and with no room for error.

He said he feels the Kiwis have been on the favourable end of "a few soft penalties" by the umpires.

"Everyone on the team has just been going full noise the whole week".

"I'll do whatever is good for the team".

"I still think we can win races with this boat".

But Oracle is still making mistakes, which Spithill acknowledged.

Burling, a 26-year-old Olympic gold medallist in 2016, was cool and composed as he "luffed" and trapped the more experienced match-racing specialist Spithill in the "pre-start" of the day's second race, forcing the US boat to a standstill.

Peter Burling and his crew took out both races to go 6-1 up in the first to seven Match, but it was the way in which they won that is the talking point.

“When we entered this we knew we were in for one hell of a battle. "We've been there before".

"They didn't have many chances to get back in the race", Burling said from on board his catamaran at the finish. That was the key thing.

Join our live blog to see whether Team New Zealand can extend their lead. But there were shifts and patches of light breeze on the race course, giving opportunities for tactical passes.week, but we made a commitment to use every single one of them to make the boat faster... On Monday, we'll see if Spithill has the makings of another miracle up his sleeve. That's the way we want sailing to be. "It is working. The boat is getting quicker".

"We're frustrated with race one", Spithill said.

"We have learned our lesson from San Fran", he said.

None of this seems to have rattled Burling, despite a capsize in a semi-final race which almost ended the Kiwi dream. The Kiwis have had their share of mayhem this spring, including a capsize in the challenger semifinals.

At 26, Burling could become the youngest helmsman to win sailing's greatest prize.

It is now Match point Emirates Team New Zealand. It was nice to get those first wins and take a lead.

After splitting Saturday's two races, Spithill piled on the Kiwis.

Sullivan felt it was just one of many factors that had contributed to the success so far but vowed Team New Zealand would not be relenting until the Auld Mug was secure.

The Kiwis would regain the lead, but Spithill came out better in two close passes on the fifth leg to gain an advantage he wouldn't surrender. When the boats crossed again, New Zealand was slightly ahead and on favored starboard tack.

In the second race, Burling out-foxed Spithill in the pre-start box to hit the start line a mammoth 14 seconds in front - appearing to offer a wave to the rival crew.

To add insult to injury, the Defender's pursuit of Emirates Team New Zealand was hampered even further as a poorly executed manoeuvre then saw them lose all momentum, allowing the Kiwis to sail well clear on leg 4/7.