New Zealand notch third straight win over U.S. in America's Cup

"I think it's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes", a glum-looking Spithill said. We also learned, or confirmed, the kiwi team is insane fast in the 8 knot winds seen today.

As much as Oracle simply sailed its catamaran better as the comeback progressed, there was a defining moment at a news conference.

"You're just going to have to wait and see", Spithill said, adding: "Listen, we've got our race boat".

Oracle does have history on its side.

Spithill was over the starting line early, forcing him to drop two boat lengths behind to clear the penalty.

Smack talk is hardly new in the America's Cup.

Oracle Team USA's track record of performing when their backs are against the wall and the intervening five days should set up a fascinating showdown to the competition as both teams race to modify their boats and improve performance. Although it was sometimes hard for him to be coming from behind, he and his team now have a clearer vision of what it takes to perform in the America's Cup.

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Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America's Cup before he turns 38.

The French are working on other funding alternatives as they wait to hear if they will be able to continue their campaign, which produced a competitive boat and crew in a remarkably short space of time.

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.

Burling, an America's Cup rookie who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, steered the Kiwis to victories of 49 seconds and 1 minute, 12 seconds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

NZ helmsman Peter Burling said it was a pleasing results, however he felt they still made a number of mistakes, including dipping a hull in the water at the last mark. "Jimmy (Spithill) and ORACLE TEAM USA sailed really well to put us under a lot of pressure, but we managed to keep our composure and sail really well". The Kiwis used the same foils they did in speeding to two victories on Saturday while the American-backed crew appeared to use two different foils.

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system.

A lot has happened since then, however, and New Zealand roared past both Sir Ben Ainslie's British challenge and a more than handy Swedish team to reach the final.

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