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Spithill talking up Team USA fightback

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/06/2017

Skipper Jimmy Spithill is returning to his bullish best after Team USA inched back into the America's Cup Match with victory in race six over Team NZ.

Spithill was making the most of his team's first victory of what had been a lop-sided decider in Bermuda.

With his syndicate now trailing 4-1, Spithill is talking up the prospects of a comeback in the race-to-seven series, igniting memories of Team USA's famous win off San Francisco four years ago.

The Americans fought back from 8-1 down in 2013, winning eight successive races under Spithill to retain the Auld Mug.

He was keen to heap pressure on the challengers heading into two further races on Monday (NZT).

"There's been a lot of work on the shore and it's great to see the boat go quicker," he said.

"That was exactly what the boys needed. We fought hard and it was just great to see the boys keep their composure too.

"A little more work tonight and a some more improvement with our sailing and we're a shot at getting a couple more wins tomorrow."

Five days of development this week appeared to initially amount to little as Team NZ sailed clear in race five on Sunday (NZT).

However, the Americans didn't help themselves with two early penalty infringements.

When they engaged in a race six duel, they more than held their own speed-wise in a boat which is lighter and carrying different foils.

"We worked very hard for those five days and probably sailed five times as much as the other guys," Spithill said.

"We improved on boat speed today and another step tomorrow would be great."

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