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Kiwis beat USA in yacht race 1 of America's Cup

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HAMILTON (BERMUDA) - Emirates Team New Zealand drew first blood in the 35th America's Cup on Saturday, pouncing on a startline mistake from Oracle Team USA to seize a victory over the defenders.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill, trying to pilot the USA to a third straight America's Cup title, was seconds early across the startline. Forced to drop back two boat lengths, the Americans couldn't recover.

Even a late mistake from the Kiwi catamaran helmed by Peter Burling, which saw them plunge off their foils and slow dramatically, didn't give Spithill enough of an opening, and New Zealand won by 30 seconds.

With the victory, New Zealand put themselves on even terms with the USA -- who went into the first-to-seven points series with a one-point advantage thanks to topping the qualifying round-robin.

The Kiwis had a chance to further their strong start in race two later Saturday on Bermuda's Great Sound. Races three and four are scheduled for Sunday, with a five-day break until racing resumes on the June 24-25.

New Zealand, helmed by 26-year-old Peter Burling, are trying to expunge the bitter memory of 2013, when they led the United States 8-1 only to fall 9-8 as Oracle mounted one of the great comebacks in sports history.

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Muslim Global: Kiwis beat USA in yacht race 1 of America's Cup
Kiwis beat USA in yacht race 1 of America's Cup
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