BACK IN THE HUNT: Team USA has had its first win the in America's Cup showdown with Team New Zealand.
BACK IN THE HUNT: Team USA has had its first win the in America's Cup showdown with Team New Zealand. JOHN G. MABANGLO

Spithill says USA can still win America's Cup

SAILING: The Australian skipper of Team USA still believes he and his team can win the America's Cup despite being a long way behind Team New Zealand after race six in Bermuda.

Jimmy Spithill trails the Kiwis 4-1 in the first-to-seven regatta but after being behind 8-1 against the same team in San Francisco in 2013 before winning the cup 9-8, he said anything was possible.

Team NZ has won five races but began with a negative point because Team US won the qualifiers.

"We know we can do this," he said. "We've been there before.

"The most important thing I remember from San Francisco was getting a win on the board. That was the key thing.

"That's why today was very, very important. You see the team's pumped up now. They're ready to get to work.

"We all saw today that the boat was faster."

New Zealand had taken a few days off after the previous races but helmsman Peter Burling defended the decision.

He said it was a great opportunity for the shore team to work on their boat.

"I don't think we sailed that well today, to be honest but we're really happy with the lead we've got," he said.

Team USA was clearly was faster yesterday but made mistakes, which Spithill acknowledged.

They were penalised twice and had a costly manoeuvre in the first race, allowing the Kiwis to take the first race of the day.

Team USA came back and won race six by 11 seconds, the closest margin so far.

Races seven and eight were scheduled for Sunday night (AEST).

News Corp Australia

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