America's Cup 2013 - Now its Match point

34th America’s Cup - Oracle Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 8
Race 11 - Day 8, Emirates Team New Zealand can win the 34th America's Cup today. They are 7-3 in the first to nine series against the defenders Oracle Team USA. But the AC45 Kingpost saga cost the Oracle crew two races so the 2013 America's Cup score is actually 7-1.

Emirates Team New Zealand into the box, this is a must win start for the Oracle Team USA.

The Kiwis protecting the left better positioned luffed Oracle almost to standstill and then powered to the first mark, a length ahead. Oracle time on distance was found wanting at the start. They could have led going into the start but from behind they struggled.

18/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - ORACLE Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 8

Down the run, Oracle gybed away looking for separation the Americans behind by more than 100 metres.
A split at the bottom mark, Oracle heads inshore only six seconds behind their rivals.

On the first cross Emirates’ were able to leebow and the Americans had to bounce away. On the second cross Oracle were four lengths behind but they cleared through to the right.

18/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - ORACLE Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 8

At the top mark for the last time Oracle was behind by 17 seconds at the top mark.

Oracle was closing down the run. The lead reduced from 300 metres to 100 metres, but just not enough, a blast reach to the finish.

18/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - ORACLE Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 8

Emirates Team New Zealand speed to victory. Now they are just one win away from the 34th America's Cup.

Dean Barker – ‘We had a nice little jump from the start, we are very happy to sneak away with a win.’

Jimmy Spithill ‘In hindsight we could have gybed and jumped ahead in the starting box.’

America’s Cup 2013 is now on Match point. Back in New Zealand its Thursday morning and no one is going to work, they are glued to their TV screens.

A brilliant Cup campaign by the Kiws. They have been up on the foils for year. It has been a time on the water, the rest of the challengers and the defenders have been playing catch up ever since.

Going into Race 12, the wind was lifting. 30 seconds from the start the wind went over the limit. Emirates Team New Zealand won the start but it was a theory only.

Back to the pre-start, with a three knot ebb, the wind limit is down under 20 knots, with the wind building as always.

Three times in the 15 minute cycle, the wind went over the limit and the clock started again. Then more gusts and the day is blown.

So Larry Ellison's Oracle Team USA is still alive but its not likely to be for long. Emirates Team New Zealand is one race from victory. Oracle has to win eight straight from here.
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