As the 34th America's Cup Final makes a case for being memorialized as the hardest fought in history, some context is needed.
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA
The 1983 match is generally remembered as the best in the 162-year story of the America's Cup. Certainly in the modern era of the Cup, it's hard to argue the point. Dennis Conner's Liberty held a 3-1 lead over Australia II, with the Australians generally acknowledged as having the faster boat. Conner had a series lead, as well as a lead in the final race. But he couldn't stem the tide. He couldn't hold off the faster boat, and Australia II became the first team in history to beat the Americans in 132 years of America's Cup racing.
Are we seeing something similar playing out this week? On September 18, less than one week ago, Emirates Team New Zealand went to match point, leading 8-1 on the leaderboard and 8-3 in race wins.
This morning the score line is 8-6, and it's 8-8 in race victories. But the comeback isn't complete. As Kiwi skipper Dean Barker said last night, 'We wouldn't want to trade places.'