Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill admits Team NZ have the edge: These guys are faster video

It's back to the drawing board for Jimmy Spithill (right) and Oracle.
RICARDO PINTO/ACEA 2017

It's back to the drawing board for Jimmy Spithill (right) and Oracle.

Jimmy Spithill has labelled the next five days "the most important of the campaign" as Oracle Team USA try to pull off another great escape against Team New Zealand.

The defenders appear to be in serious trouble as they suffered two more heavy defeats to the Kiwis to fall behind 3-0 in the first-to-seven series.

It is not so much that Oracle are losing but rather the manner in which they are being blown off the water, with Team NZ better in every department as they stormed to victory in race three and four by 49 seconds and 1m 12s respectively.

The good news for Oracle, though, is that racing takes a break until Saturday (Sunday NZ time) and Spithill said they would be working "24-hour shifts" in a bid to find an answer to New Zealand's dominance.

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"It's pretty obvious, these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes," Spithill said.

"Everything's on the table. We will look at every single thing we can. We've got an incredible team on the shore. 

"We have been here before. We've got five days to respond now and everything is up for grabs."

Of course, this is familiar territory for Oracle.

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They were in an even worse position in San Francisco four years ago as they trailed the Kiwis 8-1 before producing one of the greatest comebacks in sport to prevail 9-8.

While there are more design limitations on the boats this time around, Spithill said they would be drawing on every bit of that experience, as well as their vast amount of resources, to fight their way back.

"It's not a secret they've got speed and they're sailing well. There's a lot of things that go into boat speed but this isn't our first rodeo," he said. 

"We've been in this position before and we've had less time before so we've got five important days and we'll be using every single hour of them.

"We've got a lot of great boat building resources, we've got design engineering and we've got a very good group up here. We feel with the resources we've got we can make changes that are going to improve the boat and give us more speed."

Spithill insisted nothing was off limits, and that included copying anything they could learn from Team NZ.

Although, that is likely to stop at their pedal-powered hydraulic system, the most obvious difference between the boats, with Spithill adamant the 'cyclors' were not the reason for New Zealand's success.

"I honestly don't think it's the bikes. They've obviously got speed and they've had a little edge in a lot of the manoeuvres," he said. 

"Look, no idea is out of the question. Sometimes you learn the most when you look across the fence at your competitors and I've always found that when you go up against the best that's typically what brings the best out in you."

Spithill denied the heavy defeats had dented his team's confidence, pointing to their two wins over Team NZ during qualifying as proof that they can be competitive.

He is confident the situation will again bring the best out of them.

"Clearly we've got to make some steps forward in boat speed but we've shown we can do it," Spithill said. 

"We're a group that isn't afraid of a challenge. I think mentally the guys seem to operate better under higher pressure and that's what we've got."

 - Stuff

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