America's Cup 2021: Wind on the horizon - Jimmy Spithill predicts furious action when Auckland's predicted breeze picks up

As tense as the America's Cup match between Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has been, the racing has been predictable.

Win the start and you win the race.

That was the case again on Saturday, with both teams guilty of muffing pre-starts, leaving the ledger at 3-3 in the race to seven. 

And with similar conditions forecast for Sunday's two races, the smart money would be on more of the same.

Up to 11 knots is predicted for Races 7 and 8, and the hope is event director Iain Murray sends the crews out onto Course C - which has seen the best racing of the regatta so far.

Regardless of where the boats end up on Sunday, in the lighter air, finding a passing lane appears near impossible.

Team NZ have been the faster boat on average, but with the Italians sailing superbly from in front, only a mistake looks likely to cost them victory, if they win a start.

Helmsman Jimmy Spithill concedes the racing hasn't been as furious as hoped, but predicts things could change, when the forecast wind shifts hit Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on Monday.

"Today, there’s a high pressure over the North Island," Spithill says. "If that starts to move, I think it’ll start to change things. 

"With New Zealand, you know it’s going to change at some point and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw something a little different - then it’s up to Iain Murray and where he takes the course.

"As soon as the wind gets up, then you’re going to see a lot of manoeuvering and a higher chance of mistakes.

"In the light air, you are probably at times minimising manoeuvres, because they are so expensive."

In his third straight fight for America's Cup glory against the Kiwis, the combative Australian admits he is enjoying the battle, and insists the Italians are well and truly in the contest with seven races to go.

"It’s good, because it means you're in the fight.

"Any day that you can wake up and go out, and a have a shot at winning an America’s Cup race... it's not a bad day."

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