Team New Zealand fight back

By Julie Ash

Team New Zealand scored a come from behind win against Alinghi this morning in race two of the America's Cup in Valencia.

Just when it was looking like the Swiss were set to secure their second win against the Kiwis, Team New Zealand capitalised on an Alinghi error and fought back in the second beat to secure a 28 second win.

The America's Cup match is now tied up at 1-all heading into the first lay day. Race three is on Tuesday night (NZT).

In contrast to the opening day where the two teams faced moderate winds and extremely lumpy sea, the conditions today were lighter and the sea much flatter. Conditions which were expected to favour Team New Zealand's NZL92.

Team New Zealand did everything right in the opening stages. Skipper Dean Barker nullified the Swiss starboard advantage and won the favoured right hand side in what was an aggressive start.

The New Zealanders came off the line and worked their way out to a narrow lead. But Alinghi got SUI100 rumbling forcing New Zealand to tack away. Alinghi's speed off the line was again impressive.

At the first cross Alinghi were a comfortable two boat lengths ahead. Alinghi rounded the top mark 19 seconds ahead.

Early in the downwind leg Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth was heard cursing spectators were travelling too fast and too close to the course affecting the Swiss.

Despite Butterworth's outrage, the spectator chop appeared to have little effect on the Swiss who recovered well and powered off down to the gate where they rounded 13 seconds ahead.

The second upwind beat was where it all happened. The pair rounded different side of the gate, the Kiwis going to the right, Alinghi to the left.

Alinghi opted for a loose cover on the Kiwis up the beat. The Swiss failed to react to the Kiwis who were sailing in high mode. Alinghi then found themselves on the layline and the Kiwis found themselves in better pressure. For the first time in a long time Butterworth was seen looking mildly concerned.

Team New Zealand rounded the weather mark 15 seconds ahead, giving them a 28 second gain on the leg. Defence was then the key for the Kiwis downwind. For Team New Zealand fans it was almost too much to bear as the white spinnaker of the Swiss boat closed in. However it was Team New Zealand's day.

Full coverage of the America's Cup from nzherald.co.nz/americascup and desktoptv.co.nz

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