US beats Kiwis on opening day of America's Cup qualifiers

Two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA rallied past Emirates Team New Zealand on Saturday for its second victory on the opening day of the America’s Cup qualifiers on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

It was a rematch of the 2013 America’s Cup, when Oracle won eight straight races to cap one of the greatest comebacks in sports.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill caught the Kiwis as the 50-foot, foiling catamarans rounded the mark onto the sixth of seven legs and pulled away to win by six seconds.

This is the first time the defender has sailed against challengers in the preliminaries. Oracle and the five challengers will compete in two round robins, which will eliminate one challenger. Oracle will then train on its own while the challengers sail their semifinals and finals. The winner will meet Oracle in the first-to-seven America’s Cup match starting June 17.

Oracle pulled into a 3-3 tie for the standings lead with…

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