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Key win for Team NZ in Chicago

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/06/2016

Team New Zealand won the only race sailed on Lake Michigan on the first day of racing at the America's Cup World Series in Chicago.

Patchy and variable winds meant the official race window came and went without enough breeze to warrant a hoisted headsail.

However, a perfect breeze sprang up late in the steamy Chicago Saturday afternoon, building enough to allow the race committee to start a race.

Team New Zealand won, to the satisfaction of skipper Glenn Ashby, who said helmsman Peter Burling nailed the start to give the Kiwis a good lead at the first mark.

"Then it was just up to us to pick the shifts well to keep out in front."

Team New Zealand did precisely that, playing the shifts and extending their lead around the track before popping up on the foils to cross the finish line.

However, the race may not count for anything if the three double points races scheduled for Monday (NZT) are sailed.

If wind conditions aren't suitable for racing at the scheduled start time of the first race, the substitute race will count as a double points race.

The previous day's substitute race, won by former New Zealand skipper Dean Barker's Team Japan, was scored as the first race of the sixth round.

Japan took line honours ahead of Sweden's Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France, with Team New Zealand fourth.

British outfit Landrover BAR were fifth, while Oracle Team USA paid a heavy price for capsizing, finishing last.

At the moment, Team New Zealand hold a 10-point lead over Oracle in the overall world series standings.

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