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Spithill skippers Oracle to 1st win in America's Cup

Spithill skippers Oracle to 1st win in America's Cup

It was Spithill and the team bankrolled by Oracle founder Larry Ellison who in 2013 turned an 8-1 deficit against New Zealand into a 9-8 victory and a successful defence of the oldest trophy in global sport.

DEFENDING champion Oracle Team USA clawed its way back into the America's Cup on Saturday with a much-needed win over Emirates Team New Zealand to reduce its deficit to 1-4 in the first-to-seven final.

Although the six-man USA crew managed to notch up their first victory of the series on Saturday, and appeared finally to be matching the Kiwis for speed, they were less stable when "foiling" above the water.

The Kiwis lead Oracle 4-1 in the first-to-seven series. We've seen this movie before.

Peter Burling, the 26-year-old New Zealand helmsman, was undaunted by the prospect of a resurgent USA.

"We're just going to keep pushing forward", Burling said.

“When we entered this we knew we were in for one hell of a battle. "As a group we feel the pressure is bringing the best out of us and I think we've more than answered those questions".

He led the USA's miraculous revival in San Francisco four years ago, when his team came back from 8-1 down to beat New Zealand 9-8 in one of sport's greatest ever turnarounds.

Things started badly for the USA as it was a fraction of a second over the line at the start of the first race, picking up a penalty which left it trailing.

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However, despite the setback, the American team responded spectacularly, closing the gap completely rounding the second gate before taking the lead in the first pass of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, on leg 3/7.

He crossed ahead on the third leg.

"That was important", Spithill said. With the average speeds of the boats nearly identical it was a case of who would make the least mistakes, both skippers later admitting to errors as the lead chopped and changed. But it was aggressive tactics by Burling that left Spithill and his mates in the dust at the outset of the race.

Spithill was outsmarted by Burling in both races today with the New Zealand crew giving a masterclass in foiling their 15-metre catamaran.

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

"We changed everything", he said. In the second race, the New Zealander's achieved 100 percent "fly time", meaning they sailed on their foils - through every tack and jibe - for the entire duration of the contest. We're pretty disappointed with the umpire call.

"At the end of the day you have to make a judgment decision yourself", he said.

"Unfortunately those guys were just able to slip away".

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