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Team NZ are 'vulnerable' say defenders

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017

Team USA have fired another psychological barb at challengers Team New Zealand days out from their showdown for the America's Cup.

The two rivals square off in the first two races of the Cup Match in Bermuda on Sunday (NZT), with Team NZ aiming to reverse the outcome of four years ago when they were run down and beaten 9-8 by the American defenders.

Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill attempted some mind games earlier in the regatta by highlighting what he said were shortcomings in the Kiwi sailing set-up.

Tactician Andrew Campbell followed up with provocative comments on the Team USA website, saying the challengers have a fast boat but "weaknesses" elsewhere.

"They've shown that they're vulnerable in certain positions on the race track in terms of their playbook and their communication," he said.

"We're going to make sure we take advantage of those weaknesses."

Team USA beat Team NZ in both of their races during the qualifying series, which Team USA won to take a one-point advantage into the Cup match.

Campbell says subtracting a point from the Kiwis created a double bonus.

"To beat them in both of those races, not only is there a psychological benefit to us, but there is an actual benefit of a win going into the match."

Team NZ returned to the water for practise on Thursday, with the sailors having taken the previous day off.

Off-water testing has continued unabated, with the designers from teams set to play a pivotal part in the best-of-13 final.

Campbell was confident Team USA would be on the pace.

"Time will tell when we get out racing, but for sure, we're going to bring a fast boat out to the race track."

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