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.  

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable