United States secure first win of America's Cup, trail New Zealand 4-1

Team NZ aren't panicking despite losing for the first time to Team USA in the America's Cup Match, reducing their advantage to 4-1.

That is, unless Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA have any comeback magic left.

"We would have to see the details. but on the basis of location its not a game changer".

If the US team manage to keep the cup, there is speculation among other teams that the 36th edition could end up in Chicago rather than Bermuda, with races in places including Britain, France, Japan and Sweden. And we're not done. "And we think there's more speed in the tank".

"We all saw today that the boat was faster".

"Now we've got confidence", Spithill said.

The two Kiwis onboard Oracle are Louis Sinclair and Kinley Fowler but neither were on the boat in 2013 either.

Spithill said there was a quick crew meeting after Race 8 and he was pleased that the sailors kept their composure.

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

"We came out fighting and the boys put in 100 percent as they always do and we're in a tough situation now".

But in the second race there were no such errors and Spithill, who was wearing a bandage on his wrist after injuring it during training, got away at the start.

An extra and unnecessary tack in the pre-start of race seven gave the Kiwis the early advantage and all but ended the race.

"It's only just beginning, mate", responded Spithill, as the post-race press conference erupted into laughter.

At the first gate, the gap was still close, with ORACLE TEAM USA following Emirates Team New Zealand around the mark just five seconds back.

Spithill said the powerhouse American-flagged crew - backed by technology from Oracle Corp. and Airbus - continues to make too many mistakes.

Burling, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with Team New Zealand crewmate Blair Tuke, got in a zinger of his own, saying about Oracle, "It's great to see a bit of fight out of these boys".

Burling made the most of a wind shift on the third leg to stretch their lead to 32 seconds at the third mark.

TNZ picked up two more wins on the Great Sound in Bermuda to trail 6-1 in the first to seven series.

Their "cyclors", including an Olympic cycling medalist, have kept their heads down throughout the contest, pedaling furiously to provide enough oil in the system to allow the boat to perform nearly balletic pirouette maneuvers on the water. Two passes then ensued between the two teams, with Spithill coming out on top, nudging ahead at the fifth gate.

But Oracle is still making mistakes, which Spithill acknowledged.

That setback was followed by a poor jibe that saw the United States of America come off their foils, ending their hopes of catching New Zealand again.

The Kiwis answered Sunday by winning Race 7 by 12 seconds and Race 8 by 30 seconds. It was nice to get those first wins and take a lead.

Vanessa Coleman

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