Two wins edges Team NZ closer to glory

12:59, Sep 13 2013
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Team New Zealand holds a slight advantage during race one.
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Team New Zealand in action during race two.
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Action from race two with San Francisco city in the background.
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Team New Zealand streak away to win race two against Oracle.
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Oracle in action during race two.
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San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was hard to see during America's Cup racing on Monday (NZT) with heavy fog blanketing all but its highest point.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker waves to the crowd after beating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race five of the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team Zew Zealand races ahead of Oracle Team USA as they pass in front of Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team New Zealand follows Oracle Team USA around the first mark in race five on day three of the America's Cup 34.
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Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand tack upwind in front of Alcatraz Island during race 5 of the America's Cup Finals on September 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker warms up before racing against Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race five of the America's Cup Finals.
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The foredeck crew of Oracle Team USA work on a head sail after losing to Emirates Team New Zealand during Race 5 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco.
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Team New Zealand wave to fans after winning race seven.
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Team New Zealand and Oracle sail past Alcatrez during race seven.
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A view from above the Golden Gate Bridge during race six.
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Oracle cross the finish line well ahead of Team New Zealand in race nine.
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Team New Zealand and Oracle race in front of a giant cruise ship and the Bay Bridge during race nine.
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Action from race 10 of the America's Cup final.
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Team New Zealand lead Oracle during race 10 of the America's Cup.
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Team New Zealand crosses the finish line ahead of Oracle to win Race 11.
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Action from Race 11.
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Team Emirates New Zealand skipper Dean Barker talks with his crew after the scheduled second race of the day was postponed due to high winds.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
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Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker celebrates after defeating Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill in race 11 during the America's Cup Finals.
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Oracle lead Team New Zealand during Race 12 of the America's Cup.
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Oracle and Team NZ speed past the Golden Gate Bridge during Race 12 of the America's Cup.
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Team NZ chases down Oracle during the early part of Race 13, which was eventually abandoned.
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Fog descends on the race course on San Francisco Bay as Team NZ awaits the start.
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Team New Zealand cross in front of Oracle on the second leg in Race 13.
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Team NZ and Oracle sail side-by-side before the start of Race 13, with the Bay Bridge in the backdrop.
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Team New Zealand and Oracle compete during Race 13, won by Oracle.
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Oracle take the lead in race 14 of the America's Cup.
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Team NZ and Oracle race in front of the Golden Gate Bridge during Race 14 of the America's Cup.
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Team NZ in action in Race 15.
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Team NZ attempt to chase Oracle down in Race 15.
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Action from race 16 of the America's Cup.
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Action from race 16 of the America's Cup.
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Sir Ben Ainslie of Oracle Team USA walks off the stage from the dock-out show before going out to race against Emirates Team New Zealand in race 17.
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Oracle sails ahead of Team New Zealand on their way to winning race 17.
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Oracle celebrate winning race 17.
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An anguished Dean Barker with head in hands after the Team New Zealand lost race 18.
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Oracle acknowledge the crowd after winning race 18.
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Oracle streak away from Team New Zealand to win race 18.
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Oracle owner Larry Ellison celebrates after his team won race 18.
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Race 19 begins.
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Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
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Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
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Oracle wins race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining the America's Cup.
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Oracle wins race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining the America's Cup.
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Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
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Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
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Team New Zealand battles Oracle during race 19.
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Oracle celebrate after winning Race 19, completing an amazing comeback and retaining America's Cup.
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James Spithill celebrates with the America's Cup.
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James Spithill celebrates with the America's Cup.
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A dejected Dean Barker waves to fans.
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Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill raises the America's Cup.
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Oracle tatician Sir Ben Ainslie drinks champagne from the America's Cup.
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison holds the America's Cup trophy aloft.

A change of tactician for Oracle couldn't change the game as Team New Zealand thrashed the America's Cup defenders twice today.

A come-from-behind win by 47-seconds was followed by a massive 1min 6sec start-to-finish victory in the second race of the day.

That took Team New Zealand to six wins to Oracle's one in the series, leaving them needing three more victories to lift the cup.

Team New Zealand, Oracle
CATCH US IF YOU CAN: Team New Zealand, left, racing Oracle yesterday.

Oracle still need 10 wins to hold the cup and must surely have run out of ideas now.

Dumping local hero John Kostecki as tactician for Ben Ainslie, the Olympics' most decorated sailor, certainly didn't work any miracles for the defenders.

The Briton couldn't stop New Zealand's march and it's hard to see what can be done by Oracle now.

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Tomorrow is a lay day with two races scheduled for Sunday (NZT). Two more are scheduled for Monday but on this form, and barring breakages, the Kiwis might only need one of those.

Aotearoa's stunning dominance upwind was there for everyone to see again today - particularly Oracle as they watched the New Zealanders sail away on the third leg in both races.

The opening race today followed a regular theme.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill gave Oracle another good start to earn the biggest lead of the regatta at the first mark by 9sec.

They stretched that out to 12sec at the bottom mark but then got mowed down by Aotearoa on the upwind leg.

Team New Zealand's master tactician Ray Davies sucked Oracle into a tacking game and that meant the game was as good as over.

Ainslie strangely took Oracle left towards the shore after that bottom mark while Davies went to the right, looking for tidal relief and got an immediate gain.

From there the Kiwis just kept tacking away and Oracle couldn't answer their efficiency in this area, nor their pure speed on this beat.

Team New Zealand eventually rounded the top mark 44-seconds ahead, a turnaround of almost a minute.

The Kiwis even looked to get the better of the last downwind leg and turned right to the finish line with Oracle nowhere to be seen.

A half hour break didn't allow Oracle any breathing space, and with their postponement wildcard gone following its radical use on Wednesday, they had to front up for more embarrassment as the wind picked up from 16 knots to around 20 knots.

Davies and New Zealand skipper Dean Barker got things right in the starting box in the day's second race and gained a narrow lead at the first mark which they never relinquished.

Instead, they just extended and extended it, their upwind advantage proving hugely demoralising for Oracle again.

The defenders had tinkered with their boat in practice yesterday, trying to get a better set-up, but there was no sign of improvement in terms of speed upwind.

Barker was thrilled with the contrasting victories today, putting his hand up for the sloppy start to the day.

"The first start was a shocker. I was half asleep and we paid for it," he said.

"But the guys stuck with it and kept it close.

"That second one, I was conscious of not letting the guys down, so we are very happy with the day."

Asked why they had an edge, he cleverly replied: "It might be the pie warmer."

That was a reference to the spoilers added to the after beam before the final started.

Barker said Oracle remained strong downwind but he clearly wouldn't want to swap boats.

"We have to hang in there downwind. But we are happy with our allround package."

Spithill and Ainslie were despondent on Oracle.

"They have some wheels upwind," Spithill lamented.

Ainslie didn't enjoy his America's Cup debut: "We have to go faster. We have to look at our options."

Fairfax Media