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Team NZ complete Cup Match fine-tuning

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/06/2017
Team NZ. © Shutterstock Team NZ.

Four wins away from America's Cup victory, Team New Zealand have tuned up with a final short, sharp training session on Bermuda's Great Sound.

The Kiwi challengers are storming to victory over holders Team USA, leading 3-0 in the first-to-seven series, and have dominated all four races of the Cup Match to date after starting one point behind.

Racing resumes early on Sunday morning (NZT) after a six-day break, which has given the Americans time to work on a way to combat Team NZ's superior upwind boat speed.

They'll also be trying to devise a way to rattle helmsman Peter Burling, who has been flawless with his starts and decision-making.

Skipper Glenn Ashby says the Kiwi crew have completed their fine-tuning and are eager to switch from training to competition mode.

"It was sort of short, sharp session for us today," Ashby said.

"Obviously there's a big weekend coming up and it was just a matter of ticking through the things we had to tick off.

"We did that - some good starting practise and just a bit of a shakedown to make sure everything's prepared for tomorrow. The guys are all feeling good and we're really looking forward to getting into this weekend's racing."

The Cup Match has been one-way traffic to date, with Team NZ following the blueprint of the opening two races in dominating races three and four on Monday.

They gained control from the outset and employed superior boat speed to simply sail clear of the hapless Americans.

The light, shifting conditions which have suited the Kiwis look set to continue, according to Team NZ meteorologist Roger Badham.

"We've got fairly light winds - we've had a region of high pressure sitting just to the south of Bermuda for quite a few days now, and that high is actually going to move closer to us over the weekend," he said.

"The winds generally on both days of the weekend look to be on the lower side - we shouldn't see anything under five knots but we probably won't see much over 12 knots either.

"There'll still be a shifty breeze coming over the hill and down onto the water, especially if it's light but otherwise it looks like a pretty good weekend."

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Video provided by Reuters

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