America's Cup sailors have social media #battleofbermuda

Henrietta Strickland
June 25, 2017

But Emirates Team New Zealand was able to live with Oracle Team USA, and after both boats flew to mark 1 nearly level the Kiwi yacht found a click more pace to take the lead.

Boats compete in the America's Cup J Class Regatta June 15, 2017 in Hamilton.

The two-time defending Americas Cup champions are foundering badly against hotshot young helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand, who are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the oldest trophy in worldwide sports.

Spithill vowed that from today to Friday the entire United States team - from boat builders, designers, engineers and crew - would be working round the clock in a bid to catch up.

"We've been here before", said Oracle captain Jimmy Spithill.

"We will go away and look at what we need to improve because we all know for a fact that Jimmy [Spithill] won't give up and so we have to keep progressing", said the kiwi helmsman after yesterday's races.

The Kiwi sailors are doing their best to live up to all the kind words they are receiving from back home.

Emirates Team New Zealand has taken a stranglehold on the America's Cup after taking races three and four in Bermuda.

The Americans will spend their time poring over the data and trying to work out what changes they can make to their foil and rudder packages to eke out extra boat speed. "We feel we have got just as much chance to win this and we're going to do everything we can". "It's not over. We've got five days now, very important days", Spithill said.

Spithill, the pugnacious Australian who is seeking to take Team USA to a third straight America's Cup crown in the first-to-seven match that starts on Bermuda's Great Sound on Saturday, showed his skill in the verbal pre-start on Friday as he dodged questions about reports that the defenders could be prepared to launch a second boat.

Oracle had closed right up on Team NZ on the fifth leg of the second race, but the Kiwis were able to stay in front as they rounded the mark, and the poor gybe blew the margin out again. "The team's hungry. They're a very, very competitive group".

"Today was a really good day for us", Burling said.

"We need to sharpen up and that's what we'll focus on tonight".

The kiwi on a bike is a reference to Team New Zealand's innovative grinding system in which it has replaced traditional coffee-grinder winches with stationary bikes to tap the grinders' leg power instead of arm power. Simon van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in cycling at the London Olympics, was aboard for Race 3.

In Race 4, the Kiwis held a slim lead at the first mark and simply sped away.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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