Spithill skippers Oracle to 1st win in America's Cup

  • Spithill skippers Oracle to 1st win in America's Cup

Spithill skippers Oracle to 1st win in America's Cup

He once sailed undefeated through three straight America's Cup matches for two countries, the first two with Team New Zealand and the third for Switzerland, before winning two more as CEO of Oracle Team USA.

When the boats crossed again, New Zealand was slightly ahead and on favored starboard tack.

Team New Zealand gained during a wind shift on leg four of the sixth race and passed Oracle.

Spithill was widely reckoned to have the advantage over young Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling, a seven-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist in the 49er class in Rio a year ago who despite his credentials came in with far less match racing experience.

But despite the preparations, things started badly for the US team on Saturday as skipper Jimmy Spithill was a fraction of a second over the line at the start, picking up a penalty which left his crew chasing their opponents to the first mark.

Spithill took a change on gate four, which did not pay off and found speed before edging in front at the next gate and was not to be denied an elusive victory. Spithill was 30 when he won it in 2010. They've got different designers, different sailors, different management, whatever, but you look at the number of innovative things that that team has created over the years, it's impressive.

When he didnt make the world championship team for track cycling in 2015, Team New Zealand called and asked him to test their cycling system.

Spithill said Oracle was going back out on the water later Saturday to practice. On the final leg, Land Rover BAR Academy clawed their way up to second, passing SVB Team Germany after they hit the mark which, ultimately, landed the coveted Red Bull Youth America's Cup trophy.

"People want to go back to what they saw in Auckland with a downtown event, the centre of the America's Cup, everybody having a great time, lots of people, lots of boats, lots of spectators and I see nothing but good to come out of it".

"It was great to see those boys actually sailing a little bit better ... these guys just sailed well and we're just excited about the battle ahead", New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling said following the rare defeat. That really showed today in the pre-start - we probably didn't milk that penalty as much as we should have. Spithill dipped underneath. Both boats pushed the protest button, and the umpires decided Spithill didn't give Burling enough room.

"The Americans will never have an advantage in pure speed as they ended up with in San Francisco in the final races", Cammas said.

Schedule: The dates of the Match extend from June 17 to 25, though will end earlier when a team scores 7 points.