New Zealand Leads America’s Cup 3-0 After U.S. Gets First Win

Team New Zealand leads defending champion Oracle Team USA 3-0 after the catamarans each won a race on San Francisco Bay during the second day of sailing’s 34th America’s Cup.

The Americans’ victory in yesterday’s second race erased one of two negative points they were assessed for making improper modifications to the smaller 45-foot boats used in last year’s America’s Cup World Series. They need to win 10 more races of the best-of-17 series to retain the trophy; New Zealand needs to capture six more to secure the America’s Cup.

The Kiwis won yesterday’s opening race by 28 seconds and took the two races the previous day by 36 and 52 seconds. Oracle won the fourth race by eight seconds, reaching a top speed of 46 knots (53 miles per hour) as winds peaked at 23 knots.

“It’s a real confidence boost for the boys,” U.S. skipper Jimmy Spithill said. “It feels good to shift the momentum over to us. We’re going to work hard and come out with the same attitude on Tuesday.”

The 72-foot catamarans return to the course tomorrow. Racing is scheduled for Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with two races per day.

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