US scrambling in face of Kiwi Cup dominance

Emirates Team New Zealand forged further ahead on day two of the 35th America's Cup with another clean sweep of Sunday's races in Bermuda.

New Zealand continued to excel in light-wind sailing on the second day of racing as helmsman Peter Burling, 26, capitalised on a small mistake by the USA team and extended his lead throughout Sunday.

He is an Americas Cup rookie. “We‘ve got a lot of resource up here at the moment and we will be looking at every single thing we can.

"We're obviously disappointed with what was a tough day, but the deficit is only one point so we we're not panicking", said a defiant Spithill after day one of racing.

“Whats positive is we won the Qualifiers and weve taken race wins off team New Zealand. "However, I've been here before, and it is still only a point!"

"Our team is really hungry to keep moving forward and keep improving, we have another five days to keep working on the boat and go over all the footage".

"To do that (win the cup) we've gotta win eight races".

Race two started in nearly identical fashion to the first race, with both teams racing extremely closely to one another as they crossed the start line, quickly accelerating to around 40 knots as they headed towards the first mark.

The slick, pacy Kiwis have won the first four races in the battle for the Auld Mug to lead 3-0 in the best-of-13 series, given USA's point in hand from the qualifying rounds. Two poor manoeuvres reduced Emirates Team New Zealand's advantage, giving Jimmy Spithill a slight hope of catching the Kiwis in the closing stages. That doesn't appear to have been a disadvantage for New Zealand who accelerated clear after the first mark in the second game.

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 Americans roared back to win 9-8, with British sailor Ben Ainslie playing a key role after he replaced John Kostecki as the team's tactician.

The gains have been swift and remarkable and have quickly negated what was seen as a huge advantage area for the aggressive Spithill on the wheel of the Oracle Team USA boat.

Four years ago, the Americans, guided by Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill, pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sport. They even managed to overcome a daggerboard malfunction less than a minute out from the start of the second race to recover and regain ascendancy.

Vanessa Coleman

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