SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Emirates Team New Zealand defeated its United States rival in both races Thursday and took another big step toward capturing the America's Cup.
New Zealand needs only three more victories in the 10 remaining scheduled races to reclaim the most famous trophy in sailing.
Having shown a clear speed advantage in the series of races being held on San Francisco Bay, New Zealand again dominated in the upwind legs to capture the day's two races by 47 seconds and 1 minute, 6 seconds.
That gave New Zealand a 6-0 lead in the best-of-17 series. Oracle Team USA has won one race, but because of a two-point penalty assessed prior to the competition the Americans have not been credited with a point.
The United States held a 12-second advantage following the first upwind leg in the opening race Thursday, but that turned into a 44-second deficit after the first upwind mark was reached.
New Zealand led from start to finish in the day's second race, again showing its speed superiority.
The competition resumes Saturday with two more races. New Zealand could clinch the America's Cup as early as Sunday.