Oracle and Team France line each other up in the starting box in Bermuda.
The 35th America’s Cup is officially under way.
After organisers were forced to postpone the opening day due to high winds on Saturday (NZ time), the battle for the Auld Mug finally kicked off on Bermuda’s Great Sound with defenders Oracle Team USA easing to a comfortable victory over Team France.
With Team New Zealand meeting both syndicates later in the day (Team France at 6.06am and Oracle at 7.05am NZT), they would have been eagerly watching on as the Americans flexed some early muscle.
Team France take a dip after losing speed around a marker and coming off their foils in race one against Oracle.
While the French outfit are led by decorated skipper Franck Cammas, they are regarded as the weakest of the six teams and were always going to struggle against Jimmy Spithill’s finely-tuned outfit.
Team New Zealand open their America’s Cup campaign against Team France and Oracle Team USA.
Still, it was an impressive display from Oracle, who used an adaptation of Team New Zealand’s cycling grinding platform to win by 2mins 11secs.
After the teams crossed the startline virtually neck and neck, Oracle quickly showed their class, extending their lead at each of the six legs and safely navigating the course to move on to the grudge match against the Kiwis in the fifth race of the day.
The second race of the day was a much tighter affair as the Swedish challenge of Artemis Racing pulled off a stunning fightback to edge Dean Barker’s Team Japan.