America’s Cup: Oracle Team USA score first point over Emirates NZ


San Francisco

The America’s Cup turned into a genuine contest in San Francisco as defender, Oracle Team USA, scored its first point over what had looked like a comfortably better Emirates Team New Zealand.

The Kiwis had gone three-nil up in the opening trio of races, twice coming from behind, but the fourth saw the American team sail its best race to win by a nerve-jangling eight seconds.

The relief was written all over skipper Jimmy Spithill’s face, as it was on the large number of American fans watching the sailing rather than the 49ers opening their football season against the Green Bay Packers.

It still means that the Americans have to win another race to wipe out their two-point deficit imposed pre-regatta for team misdemeanours last year, so, peculiarly, the scoreline reads Team New Zealand 3 – Oracle -1. 4-0 would have led to a very unhappy debrief.  

A better start by Spithill for the first race gave him the chance of the inside track at the first turning mark and for good measure the Australian forced a slow down penalty on the Kiwis which he grew to an 18 second advantage at the end of the run down to the crowds watching both on the shore and at the race village.

He repeated the fast start in the second race with a beautifully timed run to the line and some impressive acceleration.

In the first race of the day it was the first time the defenders had been in the lead in any of the three races but the New Zealanders then settled into making two of their strengths count. Their boat is just a little faster upwind and the crew is better drilled, more skilled when it comes to handling it. They sailed less distance, gained on every move and by the time they reached the top again they were 29 seconds ahead, a net gain of 47 seconds.

They lost just one second on the run to the finish and Spithill commented: “They just slowly got into us with a couple of tacks near Alcatraz. They are still making good gains in the tacks and we are going to have to work a little harder.” But it was engaging in a little tacking duel close to the shore that was their undoing.

The next pair of races is scheduled for Tuesday with both teams grateful for some respite after a hectic opening quartet that has tested both nerves and sinew.  

general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before