Oracle in a hole and back to the drawing board
Emirates Team New Zealand condemned Oracle Team USA to another pair of crushing defeats on day two of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, yesterday.
The Kiwis were simply imperious, once again dominating in the start box before opening unassailable leads over an impotent-looking Oracle, who have lost every leg of the Match so far.
Oracle promised to come out swinging, but could not lay a glove on the Kiwis, who left their arch rivals with a heavily bloodied nose for the fourth successive race.
Peter Burling, the Kiwis’ helmsman, and his team of cyclists are now four wins away from seizing the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000.
While it is not over until it is over, as the Kiwis will surely testify having surrendered an 8-1 lead to Oracle in San Francisco in 2013, the past two days will have been deeply concerning for Spithill and his crew.
Oracle now have five days to find a formula to nullify the Kiwis, whose innovative boat design, complete with longer kinked foils and cycling arrangement, is no doubt faster than the defenders’ more traditional flying machine.
“It was a really good day for us and we definitely feel we’ve improved a lot on yesterday,” Burling said.
“We tidied up a lot of those little errors we made around the course yesterday and that really showed today.
“We’re really hungry to keep improving and now we’ve got five days to work on the boat and go over all of the footage. If we stand still, we know these guys will be catching us.”
Spithill believes his team have to make some “serious changes” to their boat if they are to keep their title hopes alive.
“It’s pretty obvious these guys are faster,” Spithill said. “Today I thought we got off the line pretty well, but they were pretty impressive accelerating, certainly in the transitions around the racetrack.
“Clearly we need to now put everything back on the table. The next five days will be the most important of the campaign.”
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