Four straight wins put Kiwis in charge of America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand has stretched its lead in the America's Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand has stretched its lead in the America's Cup. CJ GUNTHER

SAILING: Emirates Team New Zealand has taken a stranglehold on the America's Cup after taking races three and four in Bermuda.

The Kiwis now hold a 3-0 lead after a fourth successive win wiped out the one-point advantage defending champions Oracle Team USA had held after winning the regatta before the final.

"It's pretty obvious these guys are faster and we need to make some serious changes,” Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said.

Australian Spithill's Oracle team now faces an uphill battle to win the 35th edition of the competition, where the trophy is earned by the first team to reach seven points.

But Spithill said his team was not giving up yet after making one of the biggest-ever comebacks in sporting history from 8-1 down against New Zealanders to win the 'Auld Mug' in San Francisco in 2013 when the winner was the first to nine.

"This team has been here before. We've been in a tough situation before and overcome a lot of different challenges and now we've got to respond,” Spithill said.

With a five-day gap until the next races, Team USA will work day and night to try and find away to close the gap on the Kiwis.

"Clearly, now we need to put everything back on the table. The next five days will be the most important five days of the competition,” Spithill said.