SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Emirates Team New Zealand has won the opening race of the America's Cup, regaining the lead from defending champion Oracle Team USA on the upwind third leg and speeding away to the finish line.
The Kiwis need eight more wins to claim the oldest trophy in international sports for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Oracle Team USA, owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, must win 11 races to retain the Cup. It was docked two points in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America's Cup.
Race 2 was scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. PDT.
The 72-foot catamarans swapped leads twice on the windward third leg. Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill let the New Zealanders get the starboard tack advantage and Kiwi skipper Dean Barker retook the lead.
The final margin was 36 seconds.