Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA in race two of the America's Cup final on Saturday to go 1-0 ahead after erasing the US team's one-point lead in the first race with another convincing win.
New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, 26, won both races against defending USA champion Jimmy Spithill in an upset as the Kiwi team made a strong start in the first day of the first to seven competition.
Although they've won the first four races, the Kiwis lead Oracle 3-0.
The challengers started the regatta with a one-point deficit thanks to Team USA's topping the qualifying round-robin.
Skippered by Peter Burling, the Kiwis won both races in Bermuda on Saturday. 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.
The two-time defending America's Cup champions are foundering badly against hotshot young helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand, who are threatening to sail - and cycle - away with the oldest trophy in global sports.
Emirates Team New Zealand went 2-0 on the first day.
'I definitely think this bonus point advantage is going to be important, ' Spithill said. "This is not going to be anything less that a huge battle we are expecting". Races three and four are on Sunday.
Oracle Team USA is looking to win its third consecutive America's Cup, a feat last achieved by the same team in the 1930s.
"It's pretty obvious, these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes", Spithill said.
Oracle Team USA races Emirates Team New Zealand during the first race of America's Cup match sailing competition Saturday, June 17, 2017, in the Great Sound of Bermuda.
Race Two: Emirates Team New Zealand beat ORACLE TEAM USA by 1 minute and 28 seconds.
Spithill is no stranger to adversity as he and his team made one of the biggest-ever comebacks in sporting history when they rallied from 8-1 down against New Zealand to win the "Auld Mug" in San Francisco in 2013 when the victor was the first to nine.
"I think it just shows that you guys will fall for anything", Spithill chuckled.
They must find a solution to the superior upwind speed of Team NZ's catamaran and devise a way to rattle Burling, who has been flawless with his starts and decision-making so far, nullifying the threat of aggressive match-racing ability of Team USA's Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill.
Oracle made an unforced error when its 50-foot catamaran came off its foils early on the downwind second leg.