Emirates Team New Zealand remain in control at the 35th America's Cup, but Oracle Team USA have hope after a first win. The Kiwis have a commanding 4-1 lead going into the next two races on Sunday.
Oracle Team USA secured a vital victory over the previously perfect Emirates Team New Zealand at the America's Cup in Bermuda on Saturday.
Team USA, skippered by Jimmy Spithill, will be hoping their first victory will be the start of a comeback like the one they staged in 2013, when they roared back from 1-8 down to beat the Kiwis 9-8 in San Francisco. But at 1-4 down in the first-to-seven points series they remain in a tough spot.
Since New Zealand swept the first four races last weekend, the USA had worked feverishly to find more speed in their foiling catamaran. They appeared to have found it, but two penalties for Spithill and his crew in the opening race helped New Zealand stretch their lead to 4-0.
But in a closely fought second race it was Team USA who emerged the winner by 11 seconds. They'll be trying to narrow the gap further in two more races on Sunday.
"That was exactly what the boys needed," Spithill said. "We fought hard and kept our composure even though we lost the lead.
"We worked very hard over the past five days. We did a lot of work on the shore and a little more tonight with a little improvement in sailing technique and I'm confident we can pick up a couple more wins tomorrow."
Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling said he welcomed the challenge.
"We're just excited about the battle ahead," Burling said. "We knew it was going to be hard. We were set up for a battle and it's good to see that they're giving us one."
mds/mf (AFP, AP)