Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Pete Burling, once again sailed the knickers off Jimmy Spithill and U.S. Team Oracle, winning both of today’s races in calm breezes in Bermuda’s Great Sound.
The Kiwis are now on match point and need to win only once tomorrow in order to send four million Kiwis into a state of delirium over the opportunity to host the Auld Mug until the next America’s Cup.
New Zealand led both of today’s races comfortably, never once trailing.
Team Oracle managed to win one of the two races on the day prior, meaning that the America’s Cup series will extend into tomorrow.
In today’s action, the wind on the Great Sound was down, well under 10 knots, which favours the New Zealand boat.
Burling used that advantage and tactics that were too much to handle for Spithill and his grinders.
In the second race, the Kiwis stopped just short of sending Oracle to the bottom at the start, leaving Spithill and his crew dead in the water at the start, and then pulling away to a 12-second advantage that only grew as the race progressed.
Team Oracle is desperately trying to find speed and at times, they appear to have the faster boat, but when the sailing distances are compared, the U.S. boat is consistently compelled to sail further, totally negating the slight speed advantage.
Prior to the race, Spithill reported that Team Oracle had managed to remove at least 90 kg of the boat’s weight, but that cost them stability and made their boat much harder to sail, which led to costly mistakes when they could not maintain flying attitude and dipped their hulls into the water.
After Spithill, trailing badly, steered the Oracle boat off the course, all Burling had to do was avoid any submerged reefs and other improbable misfortunes to win handily.