Day 15 at the 34th America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand needed to win the start for the first time in six days to close out the series.
24/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Oracle Team USA vs Emirates Team New Zealand, Race Day 14
Oracle Team USA had the momentum. They have come from 8-1 down and now the score line was just 8-6 in the Kiwis favour.
Ahead of the start, the wind was blowing down from the Golden Gate Bridge, 16-18 knots with an incoming flooding tide flattening the water. From here Jimmy Spithill, Ben Ainslie, Tom Slingsby, the Oracle afterguard, need to wizard three wins, while Dean Barker and Ray Davies have just to take one win.
Oracle was first into the box. Emirates to weather, trying to block the Americans. Emirates were too early. Oracle controlled the start. Penalty against Emirates, in irons dead in the water.
Chief Umpire Mike Martin explained 'USA was leeward boat, established an overlap from behind. Two penalties, one for initial infigement and one for not keeping clear.’
Oracle was away, six lengths ahead, a disastrous 18 seconds loss at the first mark for Emirates. Down the run, the American boat had cleared out, 400 metres ahead of the Challengers. At the bottom mark, the lead was a horrible 29 seconds..
Upwind Oracle Team USA was heading towards Alcatraz, looking for tidal relief. Oracle was foiling better upwind, stretching their lead. A tack just before the top mark for Oracle, as they rounded the Kiwis were 19 seconds behind. The Kiwis were coming fast downwind. But Oracle covered, 300 metres ahead.
A sweet rounding from the defenders, the finish line delta was 22 seconds.
The drama continues, this is the sailing comeback of the century, in the longest America’s Cup regatta in history.
Spithill ´Doing a lot of night, the design team and the support team have been working very hard.
‘We are not going to stop, we are going to fight to the end.’
Dean Barker –‘That was an absolute shocker, we put ourselves in a really bad spot. A bad option.
‘The boats going well we just need to start better.’
There you are!!! You have it from the Kiwis.