Bernie Wilson: Kiwis beat Oracle in the first two America's Cup races in Bermuda
HAMILTON, BER – "It was obviously a tough day," [Jimmy] Spithill said. "Clearly we weren't sailing at our best. But we had our opportunities. We had our chances, but these guys made fewer mistakes. The good news is, we're only one back." [Peter] Burling, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, again appeared unflappable. He is an America's Cup rookie. Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America's Cup before he turns 38. For a few dramatic minutes, it looked like Spithill was going to salvage a split of Saturday's races. The American-backed crew benefited from a wind shift sailing upwind on leg five in the second race and made up a huge deficit, pulling right behind the Kiwis sailing through the gate mark. But its 50-foot catamaran came off its foils during a bad gybe and buried its bows in the water, allowing the Kiwis to speed back ahead and open a lead of more than 300 yards. Spithill thinks the splashdown was caused by a problem with one of the rudders. –Bernie Wilson, in his Associated Press wrap-up of today's opening two races for the 35th America's Cup Match. Full story.
Emirates Team New Zealand took two races off ORACLE TEAM USA today, the opening day of the 35th America's Cup being raced in Bermuda. Photo: ACEA via the AP.