Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup

Burling, Team New Zealand reach match point in America's Cup

"We've been in this situation before, still a long way to go", Ashby warned after Team New Zealand won Sunday's two races over their arch-rival.

"It makes life a little easier when you get off the start 14 seconds ahead", said Burling, who some thought would struggle when it came to pitting wits against match-racing master Spithill.

He won Olympic gold in Rio past year in the 49er skiff class with fellow crew member Blair Tuke and has brought a youthful confidence to New Zealand's campaign to regain the "Auld Mug", which was first won by the schooner "America" in 1851.

But Spithill - whose defiance four years ago propelled Oracle to one of sport's great comebacks over a Kiwi outfit skippered by Dean Barker - wasn't conceding anything.

NZ are two wins from winning the America's Cup after a super display in race seven.

It was the start of a nightmare race for Spithill who took Oracle over the boundary line for an unforced error that copped a penalty and in another poor mark rounding he sat the boat down again.

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, above center, runs across the boat with teammates cyclor Blair Tuke, left, and cyclor Simon Van Velthooven, right, during the seventh race of America's Cup sailing competition against Oracle Team USA, Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Hamilton, Bermuda.

If New Zealand triumph, many will put it down to the revolutionary "cycling" system developed to power the hydraulics needed to control the catamaran's foils, which lift it out of the water, and the vast "wing" sail which drives it along.

"They outsailed us and had a better boat. really well done", Spithill said, later adding that there were many things his team would have done differently.

"I'll do whatever is good for the team".

"We're just excited we've got the opportunity to do that now".

Oracle's plan is to continue learning lessons, come back stronger and take it one race at a time knowing they have beaten the Kiwis once in the Match so far.

"We weren't giving them anything the whole race and we were able to keep pushing and it really showed".

A dominant Emirates Team New Zealand claimed worldwide sport's oldest trophy by 7-1 in Bermuda's Great Sound, with 26-year-old Peter Burling becoming the youngest helmsman to secure sailing's biggest prize.

Even Spithill felt obliged to praise Emirates Team New Zealand performance.

Spithill said there was a quick crew meeting after Race 8 and he was pleased that the sailors kept their composure.

The tough-talking Australian and his crew will need to find something special to repeat that feat, after making significant changes in the last week to their space-age catamaran to try to match the New Zealand boat's superior speed.

Things started badly on Saturday for the U.S. team as they were a fraction of a second over the line at the start of the first race, picking up a penalty which left them trailing.

Burling made the most of a wind shift on the third leg to stretch New Zealand's lead to 32 seconds at the third mark.

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