22 Jun 2017

'We can win four races'

8:51 pm on 22 June 2017

A Team New Zealand veteran thinks Oracle Team USA will resume the America's Cup Final better, but not drastically different.

The American defender had three sessions on Bermuda's Great Sound today while Team New Zealand had just one, ahead of Sunday morning's resumption, where the challenger leads 3-0.

Team New Zealand's spent most of its session trying out manoeuvres and getting used to refinements made to the boat during a day in the shed.

Murray Jones, the team coach and veteran of the cup-winning Team-New Zealand crew, who has worked with Alinghi and Oracle before returning to the fold, said Oracle wouldn't be much different.

"They've been sailing like this for months, years really, and I can't see them making any major changes this week," said Jones.

"We are quietly confident that we'll just be able to continue the way we've been sailing, and they'll continue to make some mistakes, and we can win four races," he said.

Five time America's Cup winner Murray Jones

America's Cup coach Murray Jones. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Jones' confidence is partly due to Team New Zealand's boat, but also due to the crew dynamics.

"The way we've set-up our boat is better, the way Peter, Glenn, Blair and Andy have different responsibilities," Jones said.

"With Oracle you have Jimmy flying the boat and steering and Slingsby doing tactics, which is a bit of a complicated role because he's all over the place doing grinding, and pedalling, and sometimes at the front and sometimes at the back."

"It's just not so easy as the relationship that Peter and Glenn have side by side, and have more time to look around and assess things in a more calm way."

While other teams have publicly dismissed the role of Team New Zealand's pedal-powered hydraulic system instead of arm-pumping grinders, Jones said it was an obvious advantage.

"It gives some advantage in sailing the boat more precisely and accurately," he said.

Jones expected similar weather on the weekend, with perhaps a stronger breeze on Monday morning which the team would relish.

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