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Bernie Wilson: Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America’s Cup

HAMILTON, BER – Emirates Team New Zealand’s Peter Burling wheeled his 50-foot catamaran into controlling position in the prestart of Race 8 of the America’s Cup and then gave a quick wave with his right hand to Jimmy Spithill and the boys on Oracle Team USA. Burling said later he was merely pleased that he nailed the maneuver that allowed the Kiwis to sail away to its second win Sunday on the Great Sound and reach match point in sailing’s marquee regatta at 6-1. Burling, though, is one cool cat at age 26, an Olympic gold and silver medalist steering a crazy fast cat. Perhaps looking to one-up Spithill in gamesmanship, Burling might as well have been waving goodbye to two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA, which is owned by software tycoon Larry Ellison and crewed mostly by Australians. The Kiwis need one more win to humble Ellison’s squad and reclaim the oldest trophy in international sports for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, which held it from 1995-2003. –Excerpt from another superb piece by Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press. If you didn't watch the skippers press conference you probably didn't know about Pete's little wave off of Jimmy and OTUSA at the start of today's second race. I am trying to find the video for tomorrow's SAILING ILLUSTRATED Pre-Race Show on Facebook Live ( Bernie's story is probably not a MUST READ, but most AC fans will enjoy it, except perhaps, LOL, some die-hard OTUSA supporters. Read it here.

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, right, steers as they cross the finish line to defeat Oracle Team USA during the eighth race of America’s Cup sailing competition Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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