Americas Cup 2013 - The Climax – And they did... and it was!!
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 26 Sep 2013
The 19th race of the 34th America’s Cup. Oracle Team USA had come from 1-8 to 8-8, while Emirates Team New Zealand had been stalled on match point.
25/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Oracle Team USA ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
Now this race would decide the outcome in the first to nine series. Wind 16-18 knots, a flooding current, smooth water.
At the start, Team New Zealand was low in the box, Oracle Team USA high, both hit the line at speed. Emirates was fast around the top mark. Oracle dug a hole in the ocean with her bows but recovered well.
Down the wind, a drag race, a boat length apart, simultaneous gybes, at 40 knots.
As the two boats approached the bottom mark, the Kiwis just 60 metres ahead. Kiwis headed right, the Americans left.
On the first cross, the Kiwis have the lead but Oracle was heading for less current and had the right.
The lead changed as the Americans, having gained three lengths in the last few minutes, crossed ahead.
Oracle consolidated two lengths ahead on the next cross. Strategist Tom Slingsby had the American boat in fast mode and tactician Ben Ainslie was calling for everyone to work their asses off.
More time on the foils from the Oracle crew they were extending their lead, now 200 metres ahead. Every tack and the Americans were climbing away.
A smooth approach to gate three by Oracle Team USA. At the very fast rounding, their upwind hull was very high.
As they powered down wind, the delta was 26 seconds, 500 metres ahead of the Kiwis. Jimmy Spithill was smiling, the lead extended to almost 700 metres.
The last rounding for Oracle Team USA, it was just a blast reach from here. The final delta was 44 seconds.
The Americans have defended the America's Cup.
The fly by, the Oracle team exploded, and so did the crowd.
Another flyby from the American's. Perhaps the greatest comeback of sporting history, from 1-8 down to 9-8 win. Larry Ellison on Oracle, champagne being swigged and sprayed.
Spithill, two times America's Cup winner. 'A fantastic race, these guys showed so much heart.'
Dean Barker very close to tears, heads down on Emirates Team New Zealand.
Oracle Team USA continues to parade around the Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and back.
It was only a week ago that the media shook their collective heads when Jimmy Spithill down 1-8 said ‘Imagine if these guys lost from here, what an upset that would be.‘
And they did and it was.