Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA in race two of the America's Cup final on Saturday to go 1-0 ahead after erasing the US team's one-point lead in the first race with another convincing win.
But the light winds also made for very tricky conditions which produced a heart-stopping moment for the Kiwis when they ran out of breeze and sank off the foils with the finish in sight.
They won by 30 seconds, still showing their dominance in light wind.
In 2013, he helped lead one of the greatest comebacks in sports, when Oracle, down 8-1 at match point to the Kiwis, won eight straight races on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in global sports.
Team New Zealand needs to win four more races to return the Auld Mug to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, where it resided from 1995-2003.
Peter Burling, 26, the helmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand won both of the starts against Jimmy Spithill, despite having less match racing experience, which has earned the Kiwi team a reputation as underdogs.
Two poor manoeuvres reduced Emirates Team New Zealand's advantage, giving Jimmy Spithill a slight hope of catching the Kiwis in the closing stages.
"I think the question is, imagine if these guys lost from here", Spithill said, glancing at then-Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker.
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We were far from our best today and we re obviously going to put some hours in now, have a good look through all the video all the data, sharpen up and we will come out swinging tomorrow.
Both teams sailed well on Sunday, with fewer obvious mistakes than in Saturday's races, and the differences in performance came down to pure speed.
Spithill is no stranger to adversity as he and his team made one of the biggest-ever comebacks in sporting history when they rallied from 8-1 down against New Zealand to win the "Auld Mug" in San Francisco in 2013 when the victor was the first to nine.
The match-up between ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand is a rematch of the 2013 America's Cup Match in which ORACLE TEAM USA staged what many call the greatest comeback in sport.
'I think we're going to see one of the best sporting events of the year here over the next two weekends, ' said Spithill.
Look, I really try and portray the team, Spithill said Friday after he and Burling posed with the Americas Cup.
Oracle fell back, however, allowing the New Zealand team to secure their second win.
The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system.
Team NZ comfortably beat Oracle Team USA twice this morning and are one up in the series.