Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper who broke more than four million Kiwi hearts in San Francisco back in 2013 (no, we have not forgotten), put on a fearless face yesterday after Emirates Team New Zealand dished up two resounding wins, by 30secs and 1min 28secs.
The Challengers to Oracle Team USA took back-to-back victories in the first two races of the final stage of the 35th America's Cup, wiping out the minus point deficit the US team had over their Kiwi rivals, putting themselves into a 1-0 lead over the Defenders of the "Auld Mug" at the end of day one.
The New Zealanders are well aware that it is possible not to win the America's Cup despite an early advantage, after being 8-1 up in San Francisco four years ago before losing to Oracle. "I think these next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign". "We need to go faster, it's pretty obvious".
It means that Team New Zealand leads the series 3-nil in the race to seven after four wins.
The New Zealand team are a fast, well-oiled machine with their aerodynamic pod of four "cyclor" sailors, who supply the energy needed to power the boat's massive wing sail by pedaling on bikes.
New Zealand are closing in on winning the America's Cup, having claimed four of the eight races they need to recapture the world's oldest global sporting competition.
"We've got a couple of good starts, the boat's going really fast and the boys are doing a good job to get it around the racetrack nice and smoothly", said Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling.More news: Macron's party wins first round of French legislative vote with 28.21%
Well-funded Oracle Team USA - Ellison is worth an estimated $55 billion - has five days to come up with some answers to try to counter the spot-on design innovations by the scrappy, underfunded Kiwis, who almost folded after their epic collapse in the 2013 America's Cup on San Francisco Bay.
"Their acceleration was pretty impressive on the line".
"Credit to Peter (Burling) and Emirates Team New Zealand because they made fewer mistakes to win both races", nodded Spithill, who remains as defiant as usual.
"Today we sailed a lot better but we also made a lot of mistakes".
"We feel like were far from flawless today, and we've got a lot to improve on in the next few days". But they are really excited about that challenge over the next five days of taking that next step on our boat as well. keeping on pushing the performance moving forward. We are dying to know.
"We had a little issue on board during the first start", said Spithill. "We know if we sit still they will catch us". Thanks to Oracle being backed by American billionaire Larry Ellison, Team USA have a near bottomless pit of cash to throw at their problems to claw their way back from being 3-0 down.