It wasn't the cleanest start to sailing's biggest regatta, leaving more questions than answers as both teams headed back to their bases to pore over data and figure out where they need to sharpen up. The Kiwis led for much of the race, despite Oracle closing to three seconds after a wind shift put them back in touch. Jimmy Spithill's Oracle team now face an uphill battle to win the competition, where the trophy is earned by the team that wins seven races.
"We've got a massive list of things we want to work on and improve on", the Team NZ helmsman said. "We feel with the resources we've got we can make changes that are going to improve the boat and give us more speed".
Let's end with an old cup saying: "The America's Cup has already been won, we just don't know who it is yet".
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 Spithill lead Oracle Team USA to eight straight victories on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in worldwide sports.
Still, this isn't the start the powerhouse Oracle squad expected.
"It was an incredibly tricky day out there with the winds and they certainly weren't our best manoeuvres", conceded Burling.
They seem to have good speed around the course but there was still some opportunities there and I thought Tommy [tactician Tom Slingsby] did a good job keeping us close there..
New Zealand, which beat Artemis in the challenger final, has fought back formidably since capsizing against the British team in the round-robin phase. As both boats headed towards the turn the gap was down to just over three seconds, and it looked like the United States team might record their first win of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, but it was not to be.
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"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.
For a few dramatic minutes, it looked like Spithill was going to salvage a split of Saturday's races.
The Aussie said the crew needed to up its game for the next races.
The Kiwi boat showed superior speed in both races in the first direct comparison of the high-tech 50-foot (15 meter) catamarans' performance. "I think these next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign". "We were far from our best today".
"We need to make some serious changes".
The Kiwi team crossed the line 48.7 seconds ahead of the U. Olympic rowing champion Joe Sullivan replaced him for Race 4.
Jimmy Spithill's Oracle Team USA made the worst possible start to their defence of the "Auld Mug" as they were handed a penalty for crossing the start line fractionally early.