U.S. beats Kiwis on opening day of America's Cup qualifiers

It's exactly that sort of ruthless competitive streak his Land Rover BAR team now needs after a fourth straight defeat in the America's Cup qualifiers.

Coming into the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers, Sir Ben Ainslie's team rarely found themselves spoken of as real contenders following a series of low key results in practice racing. The conditions were ideal with southwest winds of 11-13 knots and flats seas.

There was much excitement in the America's Cup Village before the two teams faced off and they certainly didn't disappoint as what ensued was a race full of drama and excitement in a great advert for the America's Cup.

We are obviously disappointed that the strong winds mean we have had to postpone day one of the 35th America's Cup. From June 9, I will join the ACTV team for the daily broadcasts.

But this was a day for good boat positioning on the course and consistent sailing rather than having a speed edge or some other gimmick. Four of the six matches were very closely contested and fiveof the six teams seemed fairly even with only the French off the pace.

"In the end, as the cliché goes with this sport, the fastest boat always wins".

Emirates Team New Zealand stretched their lead to 8-1, needing only one more win.

At the start the Swedes crossed the line early and had to serve a penalty allowing the New Zealanders to lead around the first mark. Oracle got close, but Artemis played the shifts for a big win.

"The opportunity to win this in such a short space of time - you don't get opportunities like that often and you have to make the majority".

Kiwi skipper Peter Burling unsurprisingly praised the decision.

The official opening ceremony of the 35th America's Cup will now take place tomorrow (Saturday), following the three time Grammy award winning entertainer Wyclef Jean's performance on the Main Stage in the America's Cup Village. Oracle luffed the Kiwis rather aggressively but no contact occurred. That first race was won by the schooner America. Both boats have damage, it hit all the guys but doesn't seem anyone is too badly injured.

It was the third collision this spring for Ainslie, who sailed with Oracle in 2013 and is the most decorated sailor in Olympic history. A substantial collision occurred 20 seconds prior to the start.

Ainslie and the crew's every movement is fed back to a following chase boat with engineers poring over the telemetry with more back at their temporary Bermudan base - in all 60 BAR staff are based here - as well as staff back in Portsmouth - another 60.

"The boat is pretty badly damaged, with a sizeable hole in the port hull", he said".

There is no appeal of on-the-water umpires' calls. I have only scratched the surface of this event.

"Going into this competition, I think a lot of seasoned observers had written us off, saying that we didn't have a chance". No team is going fast enough today to beat the eventual victor.

The British, who were at fault in the incident had a much more serious situation, and the fix effected overnight by the British shore team, is a remarkable story.

"If we had left it in the water for a few more minutes it would have sunk".

The catamarans are powered by mainsails that look and perform like airplane wings. These sailors have become world class athletes, at the same level as a triathlete or soccer (football) player. Some aggressive luffing by Oracle Team USA put them in the lead on the final upwind mark rounding, giving them the win.

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