Kiwis beat Oracle in 1st 2 America's Cup races in Bermuda

Brooks Koepka caps a record week with US Open title

A win by New Zealand could threaten France's continued sponsorship by French insurance group Groupama as the Kiwis have not signed up to a framework agreement that was created to ensure continuity for the competition.

The opening day of the 35th America's Cup Match delivered some truths as the Kiwi Challengers took back-to-back victories over Defender Jimmy Spithill's ORACLE TEAM USA in the first two races.

Bertrand believes Burling is tough because of his dominance in winning the Olympic gold medal in the 49er class at Rio de Janeiro last summer with Blair Tuke, a Team New Zealand grinder.

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.

Oracle had entered the series with a one-point advantage from an earlier regatta so New Zealand wiped out that advantage after winning the first race.

Oracle launched a protest, unhappy with misreading the situation, before the race officials sided against the cup holders as Team New Zealand strolled home to win by 49 seconds.

After going into the competition one point down, the New Zealanders needed to win eight races to win the America's Cup, the world's oldest global sporting competition.

There are five days until the concluding races on the Great Sound, and Spithill admits they have their work cut out.

Despite relinquishing the point advantage they held at the beginning of the day, ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill is refusing to panic, especially with the experience of overturning an 8-1 deficit to the same opposition in 2013. "Today I thought we got off the line pretty well, but they were pretty impressive accelerating".

We saw back in 2013 that a quick cash injection can fix Oracle's problems, and with five days off before the next racing takes place, don't put it past Team USA and Spithill to bring more of a contest once competition gets back underway on Sunday.

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Oracle does have history on its side.

This is a rematch of the epic 2013 America's Cup, when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Oracle Team USA won eight straight races to retain the oldest trophy in worldwide sports. Coutts successfully defended the America's Cup in 2000 before jumping to Swiss startup syndicate Alinghi of Switzerland and sweeping his former team in 2003.

Coutts has been the CEO of Oracle Team USA since it beat Alinghi in 2010. He's also the CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority.

"The motivation is always there", said Spithill, who is trying to win the America's Cup for the third straight time before he turns 38.

"System, appendage, sailing technique and strategy - we're going to look at everything".

Although they won twice, by 30 seconds and 1 minute, 28 seconds, the Kiwis lead just 1-0. "We are really happy with the outcome from this weekend but we are going to be a lot better next weekend". "We felt we really improved a lot on yesterday". "When I look around me and look at my teammates, I have a lot of confidence".

Having closed the gap, ORACLE TEAM USA's yacht came down off its foils and that gave Emirates Team New Zealand the chance to re-establish their lead.

But Spithill insisted there was still room to make useful adjustments to the complicated systems that control the space-age craft, and to "appendages" including the massive fixed-wing sails, rudders and the daggerboards that allow the boats to foil - virtually flying with their twin hulls above the water surface.

Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby said while the crew would like be back in the water tomorrow keeping the momentum up, they had targeted these next five days in the schedule for upgrades to the boat and finetuning work.

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