WELLINGTON - Team New Zealand's America's Cup campaign has stalled, as holders Oracle Team USA hammered out back-to-back wins yesterday to narrow the Kiwi lead to 8-5 in the best-of-17 series on San Francisco Bay.
Oracle backed up their 23-second win in the first race of the day with a 37s victory in the second, and have now won the last four completed races.
The Kiwi syndicate reached match point in their finals series against Oracle Team USA last Thursday but have since been foiled by winds that are too heavy, too light or pointing in the wrong direction.
There was little between the two AC72 catamarans at the start of Monday's second race, Oracle turning a 3s advantage on gate one to a massive one-minute lead at the leeward gate on the first downwind leg,
From then on, the Kiwis had little chance, making only minor inroads as the Americans controlled the remainder of the race to close out the comprehensive win in light and unpredictable breezes on San Francisco Bay.
In the first race of the day, Oracle's defensive work to the first mark kept Team NZ on the back foot, the holders extending a narrow advantage at the start to edge out to a six second lead at the first mark.
The margin extended downwind to the second mark, the Americans leading by 24s at gate three.