New Zealand level with United States in America's Cup final


It's not an altogether unfamiliar predicament for the 37-year-old, who famously fought back from an 8-1 deficit back in 2013 to steal the Auld Mug from underneath the New Zealanders' noses.

"We've got a couple of good starts, the boat's going really fast and the boys are doing a good job to get it around the racetrack nice and smoothly", said Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling.

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

"Clearly we weren't sailing at our best".

"We're really excited about the challenge of the next five days, of taking the next step on our boat as well of pushing the performance", said the 26-year-old Kiwi, who has spoken repeatedly of the steep learning curve faced by all the teams racing the America's Cup catamarans.

"You like to sort of keep going while you're on a bit of a roll, but the schedule is the schedule and we've known that for a long time - we understand while they have chosen to hold it over the weekends", Ashby said.

"That's what you have to do to win yacht races - you have to perform under pressure".

“Its pretty obvious these guys [Team New Zealand] are faster and we need to make some serious changes.”. We will look at every single thing we can.

But that won't stop others from drawing conclusions.

"Do the Americans know what to do exactly to improve, and can they get it done in five days?"

“Were really happy with where the boats at and it was wonderful sailing out there today.

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Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill isn't waiting for the opening race of 35th America's Cup to launch his game of cat-and-mouse with Emirates Team New Zealand. "However, I've been here before, and it is still only a point!"

"That was certainly another good day for us", said Tuke. "We thought we were coming back when we wanted to but as it turned out we were wrong, it is something we will have to go back and look at". Burling kept his composure, rounding the fifth gate with his 49 second advantage intact, and from that point there was no looking back Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line almost a minute ahead of the U.S. team and Burling claimed his third victory on the trot in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

But the light winds also made for very tricky conditions which produced a heart-stopping moment for the Kiwis when they ran out of breeze and sank off the foils with the finish in sight.

However, Burling did not have it all his own way and mistakes began to creep in.

No one is ruling out another miraculous comeback from Oracle Team USA but the global sailing media are united in the opinion that there will be "no silver bullet".

The Kiwis won one more race to reach match point at 8-1, and then suffered one of the greatest collapses in sports as Spithill staged one of the biggest comebacks.

The New Zealand team's double victory erased a one-point advantage the USA team earned in an earlier regatta and gave them an early lead as they showed superior speed over the defending champions in the opening races.

It was nearly a carbon copy of the earlier race, when the Kiwis seized upon an early mistake by Team USA to get their nose in front. That was enough for Burling to speed away around the seven-leg course.

Spithill thinks the splashdown was caused by a problem with one of the rudders.

With the Qualifiers victory, the defending champion starts the Match on 0 points, while Team New Zealand is on -1.