Burling, Team New Zealand win Race 7 in America's Cup

The Australian skipper of Team USA still believes he and his team can win the America's Cup despite being a long way behind Team New Zealand after race six in Bermuda.

Burling, who at 26 could become the youngest helmsman to hoist sailing's greatest prize, steered his red-and-black, 50-foot foiling catamaran to victories of 12 seconds in Race 7 and 30 seconds in Race 8 on the Great Sound.

But Spithill's been here before.

This time they're up against a Kiwi team that has been rebuilt since their mind-numbing San Francisco meltdown. "We feel like these guys have been given a few soft penalties". "Everyone on the team has just been going full noise the whole week".

“Youve got to take your hats off to those guys, ” Spithill said.

But in the second race there were no such errors and Spithill, who was wearing a bandage on his wrist after injuring it during training, got away at the start.

It's an area his adversary Jimmy Spithill had highlighted prior to the series as a point of weakness, which Oracle would be looking to exploit.

They were penalised twice and had a costly manoeuvre in the first race, allowing the Kiwis to speed off to a victory of 2:04, the biggest in the match.

The chief executive the America's Cup Event Authority, Oracle's event management organisation, has written in the local paper that while there were no guarantees, the best chance for Bermuda to stage the next cup would be though a win by Oracle Team USA. "We've been there before".

"Getting that first victory was important today but I believe there is more speed in the tank". That was the key thing. "But we were also really happy to take some good gains in the starts and I think that was the main difference today". We obviously had a pretty good edge last weekend, but it shows you, with how you sail the boat and how you mode it for particular wind strength, you can make the boat go significantly faster or slower. "There's more on the table". "We both rely on pretty sophisticated software at times and in these boats you get one knot of difference and it changes everything".

Spithill said Oracle made too many changes to the boat to mention. He said he and tactician Tom Slingsby, a fellow Aussie, will decide if there will be any crew changes for Monday.

The next time the boats came together, Team New Zealand was slightly ahead and on favored starboard tack. The Kiwis have had their share of mayhem this spring, including a capsize in the challenger semifinals.

"We are clear that we want to compete in the next America's Cup", Land Rover's Cameron said, adding that his preference was for it to be governed by the framework agreement, with an established class of boats and a "World Series" racing circuit.

"Despite the lead we won't get ahead of ourselves because we still know we have a job to do and it's still an incredibly tough ask".

This time around, experts say the superior speed shown so far by New Zealand will be hard, if not impossible for the US to counter.

To which Spithill responded, "It's just beginning, mate".

Leading at the first mark, New Zealand were never really threatened.

He crossed ahead on the third leg.

That setback was followed by a poor jibe that saw the US come off their foils, ending their hopes of catching New Zealand again.

That means eight of the crew are in unfamiliar territory compared to Spithill and the five others who are in Bermuda after triumphing in San Francisco. Spithill dipped underneath. Both boats pushed the protest button, and the umpires decided Spithill didn't give Burling enough room.

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