America's Cup: Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling - We can't stand still

  • America's Cup: Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling - We can't stand still

America's Cup: Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling - We can't stand still

It was little consolation that the four wins gave New Zealand only a 3-0 lead in the first-to-seven points series - thanks to Team USA's bonus for topping the standings in the qualifying round-robin.

Spithill's Oracle team now face an uphill battle to win the 35th edition of the competition, where the trophy is earned by the first team to reach seven points.

"We're under no illusions", said Burling, 26. "The boat's going really fast and the guys are doing well to get it around the course nice and smooth".

Other than the Kiwis remaining fast in light conditions, there's not much of a conclusion to draw yet.

And yes, we are still the America's Cup underdogs; we readily concede that.

They were in an even worse position in San Francisco four years ago as they trailed the Kiwis 8-1 before producing one of the greatest comebacks in sport to prevail 9-8.

Still, this isn't the start the powerhouse Oracle squad expected.

Spithill insisted nothing was off limits, and that included copying anything they could learn from Team NZ.

"System, appendage, sailing technique and strategy - we're going to look at everything". "But we also made a lot of mistakes".

Asked if that meant Team USA might borrow some ideas from New Zealand, Spithill didn't balk.

Burling, an America's Cup rookie who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, steered the Kiwis to victories of 49 seconds and 1 minute, 12 seconds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America's Cup before he turns 38.

Racing will resume again next Saturday.

The Aussie said the crew needed to up its game for the next races.

"I think what happened is that we lost a rudder", revealed Spithill, reflecting on the manoeuvre that all but ended their challenge.

“Whats in our favour is we havent got just one lay day, weve got five days until the next weekend, ” Spithill said. "We were far from our best today".

"Clearly, now we need to put everything back on the table".

Well-funded Oracle Team USA - Ellison is worth an estimated $55 billion - has five days to come up with some answers to try to counter the spot-on design innovations by the scrappy, underfunded Kiwis, who almost folded after their epic collapse in the 2013 America's Cup on San Francisco Bay.

Spithill told his crew: "Hang in there".

Races 3 and 4 are scheduled Sunday.

For race two Emirates Team New Zealand again led around mark one.