Oracle refuses to surrender America's Cup, Kiwis struggle

SAN FRANCISCO Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:23pm EDT

1 of 5. Emirates Team New Zealand (back) and Oracle Team USA sail to the starting line during the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco, California September 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT YACHTING)


Related Topics

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A formidable Oracle Team USA is making an America's Cup comeback against Emirates Team New Zealand that last week looked all but impossible.

The team owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison won Sunday's two scheduled races on San Francisco Bay, refusing to give up the one final victory that the Kiwis need to take the Cup home.

With momentum clearly on its side, Oracle now needs to win another four races against New Zealand, which has lost four in a row since its last victory on Wednesday.

In Sunday's first race, Oracle had the edge at the starting gun, then pushed New Zealand toward the course boundary line before rounding the first mark. It used this advantageous position to open a lead that the Kiwis were unable to close, despite closing to within a boat length on the third leg.

With both teams struggling to find wind on San Francisco Bay, Oracle finished 23 second ahead in the relatively slow race.

In the day's second matchup, New Zealand continued to struggle to outmaneuver the increasingly agile Oracle team.

New Zealand dominated the early matches of the final, which began September 7, and appeared poised to easily reclaim the trophy they lost in 2003. But Oracle has made changes to its boat and improved its teamwork, and now the two teams now appear remarkably even.

"We are going to get more out of the old girl," said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill. "We worked very, very hard last night and found some extra wheels."

New Zealand's point advantage over Oracle has fallen to 8-5 in the best-of-17 series. Last Wednesday, Oracle had just one point. Racing is scheduled to continue on Monday and every day until there is a winner.

Uncooperative weather conditions on the bay wreaked havoc on the race schedule last week and most recently forced the postponement of two races scheduled for Saturday.

(Editing by Alden Bentley)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (10)
Potatoe1 wrote:
Where is the mention of the accident? “A 72-foot-long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized Thursday in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America’s Cup races this summer, killing an Olympic gold medalist from England and injuring another sailor, authorities said.”?

Sep 22, 2013 7:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DrewAU wrote:
@Potatoe1, that accident was nearly six months ago.

Sep 22, 2013 8:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kiwibird wrote:
On three different occasions when team N.Z. was going to win the races were conveniently abandoned, the last when they were just about to cross the winning line they ran out of time – still cheating over there.

Sep 23, 2013 1:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.