New Zealand level with United States in America's Cup final

Pope Francis looks on after his private audience with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Vatican Saturday

New Zealand level with United States in America's Cup final

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill has admitted Team New Zealand has the faster boat, but insists his team will be doing everything in their power to try to regain some parity after a one-sided two days of racing in the America's Cup match.

However, it was day two to the Kiwis again, with Emirates Team New Zealand recording two more back-to-back victories over the Defenders of the America's Cup, putting themselves three - zero up in the first-to-seven series that will determine the victor of the 35th America's Cup.

There will be no celebrations yet, though, after Oracle overturned an 8-1 deficit to win the 34th match 9-8 in 2013.

"It's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes", Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA's skipper said at a post-race news conference.

"San Francisco, when we were at this point we were pretty much at matchpoint at 8-1 and we had a lay day", he told RNZ.

"I'm not happy with how we sailed today, even though we've got two points on the board", Burling said.

That means they need to win eight races total to spirit the Auld Mug back to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, where it resided from 1995 until 2003. But today the boat configuration matched the winds, and Burling more than matched Spithill. "We basically handed that first race to them".

Helmsman Peter Burling, 26, took the lead in the fourth race and extended it, as he had in the previous race.

In 2013, Team New Zealand had its boat as good as it would get virtually from day one.

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.

Oracle earned a bonus point for winning the qualifiers, but it was actually a negative point for the Kiwis, so the first-race win merely erased that. That doesn't appear to have been a disadvantage for New Zealand who accelerated clear after the first mark in the second game. He is an America's Cup rookie. However, Emirates Team New Zealand continued to showcase their impressive speed and steadily increased their advantage through the next two gates, holding a 49 second lead by leg 5/7.

Team Oracle USA knew this was a major work-on for over a month but they have not (yet) been able to close the gap.

"I think what happened is that we lost a rudder", revealed Spithill, reflecting on the manoeuvre that all but ended their challenge.

Team New Zealand emerged battle-hardened from its challenger final win over Artemis and still had days to fine-tune the boat.

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