/Team New Zealand, Rising Power, Closes In on the America’s Cup

Team New Zealand, Rising Power, Closes In on the America’s Cup

It is also challenger schooling the defender. Team New Zealand, which led Team USA by 8-1 in San Francisco in 2013 only to suffer a collapse, is navigating the cerulean waters of Bermuda more expertly than its more experienced opponent.


Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of Oracle Team USA, after losing a race to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In Sunday’s second race, Team New Zealand never once dropped off its foils from start to finish, keeping the friction and fuss to a minimum as Spithill and his veteran crew kept splashing down in their wake, and even incurred their latest penalty for sailing outside the course.

The Oracle team owner Larry Ellison, who became a multibillionaire by developing and marketing business software, is financing a team that cannot get the technical details right; Team USA has blamed its onboard computer systems for some of its problems, despite its budgetary advantage. As an innovator and perfectionist who likes his Zen gardens just so, Ellison must also admire the Kiwis’ precision and ingenuity on a relative…

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