Yachting: New Zealand stretch lead over USA with another America's Cup win

Yachts tack and cruise during the America's Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Yachts tack and cruise during the America's Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda. PHOTO: AFP

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AFP) - Emirates Team New Zealand reasserted their dominance in the America's Cup on Sunday (June 25), stretching their lead to 5-1 over defenders Oracle Team USA with a victory in the first of the day's two races.

Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, shooting for a third straight Cup crown, threw in a slight swerve as the catamarans headed side-by-side for the startline, allowing Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling to blast across the line one second ahead.

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

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.

They led by as many as 40 at the fourth mark, and even though the USA whittled that down to 12 Oracle weren't in position to challenge on the final sprint to the finish line.

 

New Zealand snatched back the momentum after the USA notched their first win of the series on Saturday.

The Kiwis started the first-to-seven points series with a one-point deficit but were left needing just two more wins to wrest the Cup from the USA, with one more race scheduled for Sunday.