You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Team NZ take charge of America's Cup final

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/06/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Team New Zealand admit they couldn't have asked for a better start to the America's Cup final after opening up a 3-0 lead on defenders Team USA.

The Kiwi syndicate have won four-from-four races in the Cup Match off Bermuda so far, having started one point behind, and now need another four to clinch the Auld Mug.

It has been one-way traffic, with Team NZ following the blueprint of the opening two races in dominating races three and four on Monday (NZT).

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

A win by 49 seconds in race three was bettered by a winning margin of 1min 12sec in race four.

Wing trimmer Blair Tuke admitted they felt in full control.

"The boat's going really fast and the boys are doing a really good job just to get around the track nice and smooth," he said.

"Good boat speed and good manoeuvres, it's turning out quite nicely for us.

"To have another couple of points on the board is really good."

However, a five-day break until race five and six on Sunday (NZT) will allow Team USA to make changes to its teetering defence.

Their Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill reverenced the remarkable fightback to beat Team NZ 9-8 in the Cup Match San Francisco four years ago, reminding the Kiwis to take nothing for granted.

"Well, we've been here before. It's not over. We've got five days now, very important days," Spithill said.

"We need to go back and use those days wisely. We've got to get faster, it's pretty obvious.

"Their acceleration was pretty impressive on the line."

Team USA must find a solution to the superior upwind speed of Team NZ's catamaran and devise a way to rattle helmsman Burling, who has been flawless with his starts and decision-making so far, nullifying the proven match-racing ability of Spithill.

Burling has barely engaged in the start box, keeping out of trouble and relying on boat speed to hand them an early advantage on the opening two legs.

The light, shifting conditions have also suited the Kiwis, who have made the right choices on which foils to use on the ends of their daggerboards.

Team NZ suffered what appeared to be one minor mishap in race four, when their boat sunk off its foils in the start box.

However, they quickly recovered and barely put a foot wrong, capping a dominant day.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon